Conjoined twins: Experience in an Irish tertiary centre

This case series describes a cluster of four sets of conjoined twins managed in one tertiary centre, with one set of survivors successfully separated after birth.

Claire McCarthy, Keelin O'Donoghue
Journal Name
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Journal Article
Multiple pregnancy
Full Citation
McCarthy CM, O’Donoghue K. Conjoined twins: Experience in an Irish tertiary centre. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2014;34(3):225-228.
Link to Publication


Conjoined twins are twins that are physically united at some part or parts of their bodies at the time of birth. They are very rare in Europe, occurring in around 1 in 50,000 pregnancies. This study describes 4 set of conjoined twins diagnosed and managed in one large maternity hospital in Ireland, over an 8-year period. The pregnancies were managed by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists. Three female sets of twins were not surgically separable; these infants received palliative care and died soon after birth. The male set of conjoined twins was accepted for surgical separation at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, which was successfully performed at 4 months. The number of conjoined twins in this local population was much higher than would be expected, and all four parents resided within 20 km of each other, representing a possible cluster of cases.

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,