Maternal-fetal glucose gradient in normal pregnancies and in pregnancies complicated by alloimmunization and fetal growth retardation

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Oct;161(4):924-7. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(89)90753-9.


Maternal and fetal glucose concentrations were measured simultaneously in 54 pregnancies in which fetal blood sampling was conducted between 18 and 34 weeks gestation. Twenty-five pregnancies were normal (group 1), 13 were complicated by fetomaternal alloimmunization (group 2), and 16 by intrauterine growth retardation (group 3). The maternal glucose concentration was similar in the three groups. The fetal glucose level was significantly lower in growth-retarded (mean = 2.7 mmol/L) than in normal pregnancies (mean = 3.5 mmol/L). There was a statistically significant gradient between maternal and fetal glucose concentrations in groups 1 and 3, but no gradient was found in group 2. Maternal and fetal glucose concentrations were significantly correlated in all groups, but the correlations were distinct. For a given maternal glucose concentration, fetal glucose was higher in patients with alloimmunization and lower in patients with intrauterine growth retardation than in normal pregnancies. In patients with intrauterine growth retardation, fetal PO2 correlated positively with fetal glucose and inversely with maternal fetal glucose gradient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / blood*
  • Gestational Age
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Rh Isoimmunization / blood*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Blood Glucose