Objectives: To evaluate fetal and neonatal cardiac morphology by echocardiography in pregnancies complicated by diabetes compared to normal healthy controls using ultrasound.

Methods: Fetal echocardiography was performed in 121 women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies and 50 women with diabetes in pregnancy. The women underwent ultrasound scans every four weeks from enrolment (between 18-28 weeks gestational age) until delivery. Neonatal echocardiography was performed on the offspring. M-mode assessment was used to assess interventricular septal (IVS) thickness, left ventricle diastolic dimensions (LVED), fractional shortening (FS), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and mitral annular plane systolic excursion (MAPSE).

Results: There were differences in IVS thickness, LVED, FS and TAPSE values between women with uncomplicated pregnancies and women with diabetes in pregnancy. These differences persisted into the neonatal period.

Conclusion: M-mode is a simple ultrasound technique to assess fetal cardiac function. Maternal diabetes was associated with increased IVS thickness, and reduction in TAPSE and FS measures. Prognostic implications of these findings may be useful in assessing pregnancies complicated by maternal diabetes in addition to current ultrasound assessment of fetal size and Doppler studies of fetal vessels.


A. Lee-Tannock: None. K. Hay: None. S. Kumar: None.


Mater Health Services; Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.