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Gestational Diabetes May Increase Risk for Fetal Hypoxia

Hypoxia-related ZigZag pattern, late decelerations of FHR on intrapartal CTG and increased risk of fetal asphyxia seen in GDM pregnancies

FRIDAY, July 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may increase the risk for fetal hypoxia, according to a study published online June 21 in Acta Diabetologica.

Mikko Tarvonen, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues examined whether there is an association between ZigZag pattern (FHR baseline amplitude changes of >25 bpm with a duration of two to 30 minutes) and asphyxia-related neonatal outcomes in GDM pregnancies. In a cohort of 5,150 singleton childbirths, intrapartal cardiotocographic (CTG) patterns were recorded. ZigZag pattern, saltatory pattern, late decelerations, episodes of tachycardia and bradycardia, reduced variability, and uterine tachysystole CTG changes were assessed among women with GDM, women with normal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and women with no OGTT performed.

The researchers found that GDM was diagnosed in 12.1 percent of women, and OGTT was normal and not performed in 79.9 and 8.0 percent of women, respectively. Compared to those without GDM, those with GDM had increased odds of hypoxia-related ZigZag patterns (odds ratio, 1.94) and late decelerations of FHR (odds ratio, 1.65), as well as an increased risk of fetal asphyxia (odds ratio, 6.64).

“Hopefully, the new findings will increase the safety of deliveries — both in terms of preventing fetal hypoxia and enhancing the mother’s feelings of safety,” Tarvonen said in a statement.

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