Asymmetry and discordance for congenital anomalies in conjoined twins: A report of six cases

A. Ornoy, D. Navot, M. Menashi, N. Laufer, J. Chemke

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34 Scopus citations


Six pairs of conjoined twins have been studied. The first case was a pair of 13‐week‐old omphalopagus fetuses. One was a holoacradius amorphus and the other had rachischisis and anencephaly. The second case was a pair of omphalopagus twins. One of the twins was macerated and corresponded to a developmental age of 13–14 weeks, while the other was developed to 28–30 weeks of gestation and exhibited urogenital and gastrointestinal defects not found in the smaller twin. In the third case, that of a thoracoomphalopagus, one had cleft lip and palate, pulmonic stenosis, and atresia of the ileocecal valve, while the other did not show these anomalies. In the fourth case, also omphalopagus twins, one had a lumbosacral meningomyelocele and severe gastrointestinal and urogenital anomalies not found in the second twin. The fifth case was a pair of thoracoomphalopagus twins, sharing a common heart with asymmetrical anomalies. The sixth case was a diprosopus anencephalic conjoined twin. The first four pairs of conjoined twins were discordant for several abnormalities in nonshared organs, in addition to having abnormalities of the conjoined organs. It seems that discordance in conjoined twins is not a rare finding. The factors that play a role in discordance of anomalies in conjoined twins are probably similar to the factors in monozygotic twins — i.e., environmental, genetic, and abnormal placental and/or fetal circulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1980
Externally publishedYes


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