Chromosomal and Genetic Conditions

Conjoined Twins Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Conjoined Twins

Conjoined twins may be connected to each other in many different ways. Their health and any symptoms depend on how each child developed, which structures they share and how well their organs work.

Most conjoined twins are born early (prematurely). This means their lungs probably have not finished developing. So breathing problems are common in many conjoined twins.

Conjoined Twins Diagnosis

In most cases, doctors see that twins are conjoined during a routine ultrasound late in the first trimester of pregnancy or in the second trimester. Once your doctor can see by ultrasound where the twins are joined, the doctor will have some idea of which structures the twins are likely to share. Other imaging studies can also take pictures of the twins before birth. They include echocardiography and prenatal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). These may give your doctor more details.

After birth, conjoined twins need many other imaging studies and tests to learn about their health and the connections between them. Your doctor will want to find out more about their anatomy, or structure, and their function, or how well their bodies work. It will be important to check all of their systems.

The exact studies and tests your babies need will depend on where they are joined and how their health seems. Heart (echocardiography and electrocardiography) and lung (pulmonary) tests are a few of the common tests for conjoined twins.