There is a recognized need for the early detection of gestational diabetes, and a single blood test, if reliable, would be advantageous. Because serum albumin and total protein are glycosylated and have short life spans, we investigated the usefulness of glycosylated albumin and glycosylated protein in the detection of gestational diabetes. We studied five groups, each with 20 subjects: nonpregnant and pregnant controls, nonpregnant and pregnant insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) patients, and gestational diabetic patients. All patients with no history of diabetes had an oral glucose tolerance test to define their carbohydrate status.

Our results showed that percent glycosylated albumin and percent glycosylated proteinwere significantly elevated in both groups of IDDM patients compared with the other groups. However, gestational diabetic patients had glycosylated albumin and glycosylated protein values similar to those of both control groups. Both glycosylated albumin and glycosylated protein correlated well with HbA1c determinations. Thus, glycosylated albumin and glycosylated protein may be a good index of glycemic control, but they are of little value in the diagnosis of gestational diabetes because of a lack of sensitivity: 8 and 3% for glycosylated albumin and glycosylated protein, respectively.

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