Can plasma glucose and HbA1c predict fetal growth in mothers with different glucose tolerance levels?

A. Lapolla, M. G. Dalfrà, M. Bonomo, M. T. Castiglioni, G. Di Cianni, M. Masin, E. Mion, R. Paleari, C. Schievano, M. Songini, G. Tocco, L. Volpe, A. Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To assess whether HbA1c and plasma glucose predicts abnormal fetal growth, 758 pregnant women attending 5 Diabetic Centers were screened for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). On glucose challenge (GCT) at 24-27 weeks of gestation (g.w.), negative cases formed the normal control group (N1). Positive cases took an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): those found negative were classed as false positives screening test (N2); if they had an OGTT result at least as high as their normal glucose levels, they were classed as having one abnormal glucose value (OAV) at OGTT; two values as GDM. HbA1c was assayed on the day of GCT. We considered fetal macrosomia, large for gestational age (LGA), ponderal index and mean growth percentile. Mean age, pre-pregnancy BMI, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c were progressively higher from N1 to GDM patients. The newborn of N2 mothers were heavier than those with N1 or GDM. The mean growth percentile was significantly higher in N2 than in N1. More LGA babies were born to OAV than to N1 or N2 women. Macrosomia and ponderal index did not differ significantly in the four groups. At logistic regression only plasma glucose at GCT could predict LGA babies and a ponderal index above 2.85. At risk analysis, GDM and OAV significantly predicted LGA babies, and GDM a ponderal index >2.85. In conclusion, FPG at GCT could predict fetal overgrowth and plasma glucose >85 mg/dl doubles the risk of LGA infants. HbA1c at 24-27 g.w. does not predict fetal overgrowth. Mild alterations in glucose tolerance correlate with fetal overgrowth and needs monitoring and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Diabetes
  • Fetal growth
  • HbA1c
  • Plasma glucose
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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