Glucose variability in diabetic pregnancy

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2011 Aug;13(8):853-9. doi: 10.1089/dia.2010.0145.


Background: Fetal overgrowth is the most important complication of gestational (GDM) and pregestational diabetes mellitus.

Methods: We correlated maternal glucose profiles, as detected by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), with fetal growth parameters for 80 pregnant women (32 with type 1 diabetes, 31 with GDM, and 17 healthy controls). Glucose profiles were monitored in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy for type 1 diabetes women and in the second and third trimesters for GDM women and controls. To analyze glycemic variability, we considered the mean amplitude of glycemic excursion, mean glycemia, the continuous overlapping net glycemic action (CONGA), the SD, the High Blood Glucose Index (HBGI), the Low Blood Glucose Index, and the interquartile range (IQR).

Results: Mean age was the same for the three groups. Prepregnancy body mass index was higher for the women with diabetes (GDM and type 1) than for controls. The newborn's mean birth weight and ponderal index were higher, although not significantly so, for the women with diabetes than for controls. For the type 1 diabetes patients, ponderal index correlated with the HBGI in the first trimester, CONGA1 and IQR in the second, and mean glycemia and SD in the third. For GDM patients, ponderal index correlated with mean glycemia and the HBGI in the second trimester.

Conclusions: Fetal exposure to glycemic variability and hyperglycemia seems to be important in determining fetal overgrowth in pregnant women with diabetes. Optimal glucose control and less glucose variability are needed as early as possible in both type 1 diabetes and GDM patients to ensure normal fetal growth.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / physiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / blood*


  • Blood Glucose