Gestational diabetes mellitus

Rev Obstet Gynecol. Summer 2008;1(3):129-34.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects between 2% and 5% of pregnant women. Data show that increasing levels of plasma glucose are associated with birth weight above the 90th percentile, cord blood serum C-peptide level above the 90th percentile, and, to a lesser degree, primary cesarean deliveries and neonatal hypoglycemia. Risk factors for GDM include history of macrosomia, strong family history of diabetes, and obesity. Screening protocol for GDM is controversial; some recommend a universal approach, whereas others exempt low-risk patients. The cornerstone of management is glycemic control. Quality nutritional intake is essential. Patients with GDM who cannot control their glucose levels with diet alone will require insulin. There is no consensus as to when to initiate insulin therapy, but more conservative guidelines are in place to help minimize macrosomia and its associated risks to the infant. It is generally recommended that pregnancies complicated by GDM do not go beyond term.

Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus; Glycemic control; Hyperglycemia; Insulin; Plasma glucose.