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Two Corpora Lutea Seen at 6–13 Weeks' Gestation Infers Dizygosity Among Spontaneous Same-Sexed Dichorionic Twins

  • Jean Woo (a1), Stephen Tong (a2), Megan J. Campbell (a3), Leanne Wallace (a4), Simon Meagher (a5), Grant W. Montgomery (a6), Fay Chao (a7), Weng Chan (a8) and Beverley Vollenhoven (a9)...

Current ultrasound techniques can accurately determine the chorionicity of twins, but not zygosity. We previously proposed that the zygosity of spontaneously conceived twins can be determined at early ultrasound, where 2 corpora lutea infers dizygosity, and 1 implies monozygosity. Here we did a case series, comparing zygosity predicted using this method with definitive DNA genotyping of twins after birth. We retrospectively identified 14 ultrasound reports of spontaneous twin pregnancies at 6(+0 days) to 13+6 weeks' gestation, where both ovaries were seen and the number of corpora lutea documented. We visited all twin pairs, obtained buccal smears, and determined zygosity by genotyping 9 independent microsatellite markers. All 8 cases where 2 corpora lutea were seen were dizygotic pregnancies. One further case where 3 corpora lutea were seen was also dizygotic. All 3 sets of monozygotic twins had 1 corpus luteum. There were 2 cases incorrectly assigned, where 1 corpus luteum was seen in dizygotic pregnancies. We conclude if 2 corpora lutea are seen at a first trimester ultrasound of spontaneously conceived dichorionic twins, they appear to be almost certainly dizygotic. However, if 1 corpus luteum is seen in dichorionic twins, zygosity cannot be determined with certainty since it is either monozygotic, or dizygotic where a second corpus luteum has been missed.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr Stephen Tong, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Rd., Clayton 3168, Victoria, Australia.
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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