We measured plasma glucose, GHb, GPro, IRI and TG at 24–28-wk gestation to determine the extent of elevations in GDM and relationships to glucose intolerance and infant macrosomia.
Plasma samples were obtained 1 h after ingestion of 50 g glucose after an overnight fast in 521 randomly selected negative screenees, 264 positive screenees with GTT−, and 96 positive screenees with GTT+ (GDM).
Screening test values in GDM subjects exceeded the GTT− group, whose values exceeded those of negative screenees: glucose, 9.6*, 8.7*, 6.3 mM; GHb, 5.2*, 4.9*, 4.7%; GPro, 3.1*, 3.0*, 2.8%; IRI, 791*, 662*, 410 pM; and TG, 2.3*, 1.9, 1.9 mM, (*P < 0.005 vs. negative screenees). TG was the only test elevated in the GDM but not in the GTT− groups. Screening test values correlated with GTT values in the following order (strongest to weakest): glucose* > TG* > GHb* > IRI > GPro (*statistical significance). Plasma TG was the only screening test significantly associated with birth weight corrected for gestational age (birth-weight ratio) (r = 0.09–0.16) (P < 0.05 to < 0.01) and was of the same order as 1- and 2-h GTT associations with birth weight (r = 0.13 and 0.14, respectively) (P < 0.05 to < 0.01). Plots of TG/birth-weight ratio increased linearly to the 80–90th TG percentile in negative screenees and GTT− subjects. GDM subjects followed this trend but with more variation. Above the 90th percentile for TGs, birth-weight ratio trended lower, significantly so when the groups were combined (P < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, TG was associated with birth-weight ratio even when maternal prepregnancy weight and pregnancy weight gain associations with TG and birth-weight ratio were controlled (P < 0.019).
Of the five screening tests evaluated, all were elevated in GDM, but TG is the best discriminator of GDM from the GTT− group, and it is the only test significantly related to birth-weight ratio—and to glucose intolerance besides glucose itself. The TG association with birth weight is not explained fully by maternal weight. The results suggest that plasma TG may be a physiological contributor to infant birth weight. Further evaluation of plasma TG in GDM screening is justified, but GHb, GPro, and IRI appear to hold less promise.