Congenital anomalies in diabetic pregnancy

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2009 Apr;14(2):85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2008.11.001. Epub 2009 Jan 7.


Congenital malformations are more common in infants of diabetic women than in children of non-diabetic women. The etiology, pathogenesis and prevention of the diabetes-induced malformations have spurred considerable clinical and basic research efforts. The ultimate aim of these studies has been to obtain an understanding of the teratogenic process, which may enable precise preventive therapeutic measures in diabetic pregnancies. The results of the clinical and basic studies support the view of an early gestational induction of the malformations in diabetic pregnancy by a teratogenic process of multifactorial etiology. There may be possible targets for new therapeutic efforts revealed by the research work. Thus, future additions to the therapeutic efforts may include supplementation with antioxidants and/or folic acid, although more research is needed to delineate the dosages and compounds to be used. As the research into genetic predisposition for the teratogenic induction of malformations by maternal diabetes starts to reveal new genes and gene products involved in the etiology of the malformations, a set of new targets for intervention may arise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / physiology
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / physiopathology*


  • Antioxidants