Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) in Children

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Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a problem where one fetus — the donor twin — pumps blood to the other fetus — the recipient twin.

  • Without intervention, the recipient twin receives too much blood and may develop fluid overload, heart failure and die, and the donor twin may die from not having enough blood, or severe  anemia.
  • Almost all identical twins exchange blood across the placenta, although usually the exchange is balanced.
  • In TTTS, the blood connections in the placenta are abnormal and the blood passes unequally between the two fetuses.

TTTS occurs in varying stages of severity, which may or may not progress to the point where intervention is needed.

Leading the way in fetal care

Through the joint work of researchers, genetic specialists, surgeons and other care providers, Boston Children's Hospital's  Advanced Fetal Care Center is breaking new ground in understanding and successfully treating a wide variety of fetal health concerns, including TTTS.

Children's Advance Fetal Care Center

"Looking at them now, it's hard to remember all we went through," says Stephanie Villers about her two twin boys. Stephanie was diagnosed with TTTS and treated by the experts at our  Advanced Fetal Care Center. To read more about her inspiring story, click here.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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