A standard approach to continuous glucose monitor data in pregnancy for the study of fetal growth and infant outcomes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2013 Feb;15(2):172-9. doi: 10.1089/dia.2012.0223. Epub 2012 Dec 26.


The power of continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) technology to profile glycemic patterns throughout a 24-h period has benefited the care of individuals with diabetes mellitus for over 10 years. Recently, this technology has been utilized to better understand glucose patterns in pregnancy, especially as they relate to abnormal fetal growth given that adiposity at birth is associated with increased risks for childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, the lack of a standardized approach to defining glucose measures associated with maternal outcomes and fetal growth has greatly limited comparison and pooling of CGMS data among pregnancy trials, hindering our ability to take advantage of the enormous amount of data available to explore these relationships. The purpose of this article is to offer a methodical approach to the identification and extraction of CGMS-derived glucose variables for the characterization of glycemic profiles in pregnant women, particularly focusing on women with gestational diabetes or obesity who are at risk for abnormal fetal growth. A review of the properties of CGMS data and examples of how CGMS data in pregnancy have been reported to date are included. We further define several pregnancy-relevant, CGMS-derived glucose variables and directly apply them to unpublished data to illustrate how these measures might be utilized. This approach offers one possible standardized method to define and analyze these time-sensitive glucose measures to facilitate comparisons among studies and to increase our understanding of how glycemic profiles contribute to excess infant adiposity in pregnant women with and without diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / standards*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / standards*
  • Mothers
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose