Can first trimester maternal serum follistatin like 3 levels predict developing gestational diabetes mellitus?

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 Aug;30(16):1968-1971. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2016.1235695. Epub 2016 Sep 29.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine whether the first trimester maternal serum levels of follistatin like 3 (FSTL3) are altered in patients who develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods: This is a prospective nested case-control study that included 170 singleton pregnant women recruited in their first trimester. All women were followed up until the delivery and 144 of them completed the study. The maternal serum levels of FSTL3 were measured at 11-14 weeks of gestation. The GDM-affected women (n = 19) were compared with the GDM-free control women (n = 125) for potential serum biomarkers including the FSTL3 levels.

Results: There were no significant differences in maternal age, maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index, and neonatal birth weight between the GDM group and the GDM-free control group. Women with GDM had significantly greater weight gain during pregnancy than the women without GDM. Serum concentration of glycosylated hemoglobin was significantly higher in women with GDM. There were no significant differences in serum FSTL3 levels (p = 0.578) between the GDM group and the GDM-free control group.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the first trimester maternal serum FSTL3 levels are not altered in women who develop GDM and thus do not support the use of serum FSTL3 levels for early prediction of GDM.

Keywords: First trimester; follistatin; gestational diabetes mellitus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Female
  • Follistatin-Related Proteins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Follistatin-Related Proteins
  • Fstl3 protein, human