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Early Hum Dev. 1997 Sep 19;49(2):113-21.

Ultrasound growth parameters in relation to levels of amniotic fluid insulin in women with diabetes type-I.

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Department of Obstetrics, University of Graz, Austria.


The aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between ultrasound parameters and levels of amniotic fluid insulin (AF-insulin) in pregnancies complicated by insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). In 129 women with IDDM amniocentesis was performed between 28 and 35 weeks of gestation. The levels of AF-insulin were measured by radioimmunoassay (Pharmacia RIA 100) and were correlated with biparietal diameter (BPD), abdominal diameter (AD), abdominal circumference (AC), and femur length (FL). The women were maintained at good glycemic control (fructosamine level: mean +/- S.D.: 236.3 +/- 40 micromol/l) and delivered infants with a mean (+/- S.D.) birth weight of 3477 +/- 640 g. The sensitivity of BPD, AD, AC and FL to detect fetuses with pathological levels of AF-insulin was 50%, 62%, 67% and 49%, respectively. The sensitivities of AD and AC in a selected group (n = 14) with highly pathological levels of AF-insulin (> 20 microU/ml) were both 80%, whereas the specificity was 56% and 46%, respectively. In women with IDDM, fetal biparietal diameter, abdominal diameter, abdominal circumference, and femur length are not reliable markers for the identification of fetal hyperinsulinism. Only cases with highly pathological levels of AF-insulin can be detected by abdominal measurements.

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