First trimester prediction of gestational diabetes mellitus using plasma biomarkers: a case-control study

J Perinat Med. 2019 Feb 25;47(2):161-168. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2018-0120.


Objectives To evaluate the first trimester maternal biomarkers for early pregnancy prediction of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Methods The study was a case-control study of healthy women with singleton pregnancies at the first trimester carried out at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Clinica Davila, Santiago, Chile. After obtaining informed consent, peripheral blood samples of pregnant women under 14 weeks of gestation were collected. At 24-28 weeks of pregnancy, women were classified as GDM (n=16) or controls (n=80) based on the results of a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). In all women, we measured concentrations of fasting blood glucose, insulin, glycated hemoglobin, uric acid, cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), triglycerides, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), adiponectin, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), leptin and placental growth factor (PGF). Results The GDM group displayed an increased median concentration of cholesterol (P=0.04), triglycerides (P=0.003), insulin (P=0.003), t-PA (P=0.0088) and homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) (P=0.003) and an increased mean concentration of LDL (P=0.009) when compared to the control group. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for significant variables achieved an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.870, a sensitivity of 81.4% and a specificity of 80.0%. The OGTT was positive for GDM according to the IADPSG (International Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group) criteria. Conclusion Women who subsequently developed GDM showed higher levels of blood-borne biomarkers during the first trimester, compared to women who did not develop GDM. These data warrant validation in a larger cohort.

Keywords: HOMA; IADPSG criteria; biomarker; cholesterol; gestational diabetes; insulin; oral glucose tolerance test; prediction; tissue plasminogen activator; triglycerides.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Biomarkers* / analysis
  • Biomarkers* / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / blood
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator