Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and abnormal ventricular diastolic filling in the infant of the diabetic mother is related to poor maternal glycemic control. Evaluation of fetuses of well controlled diabetic mothers has not been examined. Eleven fetuses of nondiabetic mothers (normals) and 9 fetuses of well controlled insulin-dependent diabetic mothers (FODMs) underwent serial evaluation of cardiac growth and ventricular diastolic filling using M-mode and Doppler echocardiography at 20-26 weeks' (period 1), 27-33 weeks' (period 2), 34-40 weeks' (period 3),m and 48-72 hours after birth (period 4). Indices of right and left ventricular diastolic filling included time velocity integral ratios (E/A and %E/E+A). Cardiac growth and birth weight in the two groups were similar consistent with "good" glycemic control. This conclusion was supported by similar maternal glycosylated hemoglobin (%A1C) prenatally and newborn %A1C and C-peptide values postnatally. Heart rate before and after birth and placental resistance prenatally were similar. Both normals and FODMs demonstrated an increase in left ventricular E/A and %E/E+A ratios from period 1 to 4 (p < 0.0001). This shift occurred earlier (by period 2) in normals (p < 0.01). Right ventricular filling ratios increased by period 4 in normals only (p < 0.01). No differences were noted between the groups during any period. Good glycemic control in FODMs results in normal cardiac growth and ventricular diastolic filling. Progression of diastolic filling is abnormally delayed, however, and is presumably more exaggerated in poorly controlled diabetics.