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OBJECTIVE: To determine the accuracy of dating twin pregnancies, of between 16 and 26 weeks' gestation, using singleton head circumference (HC) formulae. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of 269 singleton and 119 twin non-anomalous pregnancies conceived by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with a known embryo transfer date. Fetal ultrasound biometry data for HC, obtained using different formulae, were compared with expected fetal HC size for gestation calculated from the date of conception. Similar comparisons were undertaken for femur length (FL) and for transverse cerebellar diameter. RESULTS: The mean differences in HC between observed ultrasound measurements and those expected from the IVF history were small (1-4 mm) and within the measurement error for both singletons and twins for all formulae. All measurements from the larger and the smaller twins straddled those of singletons, regardless of biometry and formula used. Negative skewing of FL measurements in the smaller twin suggests that fetal growth restriction may occur at this gestation and supports the practice of dating using the HC of the larger twin. CONCLUSIONS: Singleton pregnancy HC charts can be used to date reliably twin pregnancies. The data of the study also suggest that the HC of the larger twin is the most reliable measurement for use in dating.

Original publication




Journal article


Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol

Publication Date





34 - 37


Biometry, Female, Fertilization in Vitro, Gestational Age, Head, Humans, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Trimester, Second, Reference Values, Retrospective Studies, Twins, Ultrasonography, Prenatal