Maternal visceral adipose tissue during the first half of pregnancy predicts gestational diabetes at the time of delivery - a cohort study.

Change log
Rocha, Alexandre da Silva  ORCID logo
Bernardi, Juliana Rombaldi 
Matos, Salete 
Kretzer, Daniela Cortés 
Schöffel, Alice Carvalhal 

BACKGROUND: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common condition, often associated with high maternal and fetal morbidity. The use of new tools for early GDM screening can contribute to metabolic control to reduce maternal and fetal risk. This study aimed to ascertain whether maternal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measurement by ultrasound during the first half of pregnancy can predict the occurrence of GDM during the third trimester. METHODS: A prospective cohort study of 133 pregnant women with gestational age ≤20 weeks in an outpatient setting. VAT depth was measured by ultrasound at the maternal periumbilical region. GDM status was obtained through hospital charts during hospitalization to delivery. A Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the optimum threshold to predict GDM. RESULTS: According to the ROC curve, a 45mm threshold was identified as the best cut-off value, with 66% of accuracy to predict GDM. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) for GDM were 13.4 (95%CI 2.9-61.1) and 8.9 (95%CI 1.9-42.2), respectively. A similar result was obtained among pre-gravid non-obese women, with crude and adjusted OR of 16.6 (95%CI 1.9-142.6) and 14.4 (95%CI 1.7-125.7), respectively. Among pre-gravid obese patients, a 45mm threshold did not reach statistical significance to predict GDM. CONCLUSION: The high and significant OR found before and after adjustments provides additional evidence of a strong association between VAT and GDM. It appears that VAT measurement during the first half of pregnancy has great potential in identifying non-obese women at high risk for GDM. This evidence can assist obstetricians in correctly allocating resources among populations of pregnant women at risk, determined not only by pre-gravid body mass index (BMI).

Adult, Birth Weight, Body Mass Index, Diabetes, Gestational, Female, Gestational Age, Humans, Intra-Abdominal Fat, Obesity, Pregnancy, Pregnant Women, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors
Journal Title
PLoS One
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Public Library of Science (PLoS)