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J R Soc Med. 2002 Sep;95(9):435-9.

A simple index for detection of gestational diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Hospital General de Riotinto, Huelva, Spain.


The conventional screening test for gestational diabetes mellitus is measurement of plasma glucose 1 hour after 50 g glucose by mouth. The sensitivity and specificity of this test are lower than desirable; we therefore developed an index including other plasma constituents. In a preliminary study, 138 pregnant women had the standard oral glucose load screening test, and plasma fructosamine and total proteins were measured, in addition to glucose, in the 1-hour samples. An index value (I) was calculated as [fructosamine (micro mol/L) divided by total proteins (g/L)]x[glucose (mmol/L) divided by 100]. Cut-off values for I were then assessed in a second prospective study, of 642 pregnant women. Definitive diagnosis of gestational diabetes was by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The index was also assessed in terms of fetal macrosomia (birthweight>or=4000 g). With a cut-off value of I=27.2, sensitivity was 98%, specificity 89%, diagnostic efficiency 90%, positive likelihood ratio 8.76. Application of the index would have avoided 42% of the OGTTs demanded by the standard screening test, reducing false positives from about 24% to 10%. Predictive efficacy for macrosomia was 10.3% versus 7.9%. Our index offers an efficient screening test for gestational diabetes, and with more stringent cut-off points may be applicable as a single-step diagnostic procedure.

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