Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Nov 6, 2020; 8(21): 5389-5393
Published online Nov 6, 2020. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v8.i21.5389
Early ultrasound diagnosis of conjoined twins at eight weeks of pregnancy: A case report
Xiao-Wen Liang, Yong-Yi Cai, Yao-Zhang Yang, Zhi-Yi Chen
Xiao-Wen Liang, Yao-Zhang Yang, Zhi-Yi Chen, Department of Ultrasound Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510000, Guangdong Province, China
Yong-Yi Cai, Department of Ultrasound, Liwan Hospital of the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510000, Guangdong Province, China
Author contributions: Liang XW was responsible for substantial contributions to conception and design; Cai YY was responsible for the acquisition of data; Yang YZ was responsible for drafting the article; Chen ZY was responsible for the final approval of the version to be published.
Supported by Major Research Projects of Universities in Guangdong Province, No. 2019KZDZX1032; the Open Laboratory Project of Guangzhou Medical University in 2019, No. C195015026; Youth Foundation of Scientific Research of the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, No. 2018Q18.
Informed consent statement: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed written consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no conflicts of interest.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Zhi-Yi Chen, PhD, Professor, Department of Ultrasound Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, No. 63 Duobao Road, Guangzhou 510000, Guangdong Province, China.
Received: April 21, 2020
Peer-review started: April 29, 2020
First decision: September 12, 2020
Revised: September 13, 2020
Accepted: September 23, 2020
Article in press: September 23, 2020
Published online: November 6, 2020

Conjoined twins are a rare occurrence, and the majority of these malformations are detected during second trimester screening.


Herein we report a case of conjoined twins, which was diagnosed by ultrasound at 8 wk gestation and was normal at 7 wk gestation. The two fetuses shared one heart and were diagnosed as thoracopagus twins. This is the first report of conjoined twins diagnosed at 8 wk gestation. The pregnancy was terminated electively at 9 wk gestation. Because some congenital malformations can be diagnosed earlier, a prenatal ultrasound examination at an early gestational stage cannot be dismissed.


This case demonstrates that a 7-8 wk gestation might be the earliest period when conjoined twins can be diagnosed by ultrasound.

Keywords: Conjoined twins, Ultrasound, Thoracopagus, Early diagnosis, Congenital malformation, Case report

Core Tip: A woman at 8 wk of pregnancy with low progesterone levels came to the hospital for a routine ultrasound examination. Ultrasound showed a twin pregnancy, and the two fetuses were conjoined by the chest and heart. However, the ultrasound performance showed a normal singleton pregnancy at her 7th wk of pregnancy. We found that ultrasound examination at 7-8 wk of pregnancy plays an important role in the early diagnosis of congenital malformation in twins.