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The purpose of this study was to assess fetal cardiac function in normal fetuses (control group) compared to those who are exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus using different echocardiographic measurements, and to explore the application of left atrial shortening fraction in determination of fetal diastolic function with gestational diabetes mellitus.
A total of 50 women with gestational diabetes and 50 women with a healthy pregnancy were included in the study. Fetal echocardiography was performed and structural as well as functional fetal cardiac parameters were measured. Data were compared between with or without fetal myocardial hypertrophy and the control group.
In the study group, out of 50 fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers, 18 had myocardial hypertrophy and 32 had normal septal thickness. Gestational age at time of examination did not differ significantly between the control and gestational diabetes group (p = 0.55). Mitral E/A ratio was lower in gestational diabetes group as compared to the control (p < 0.001). Isovolumetric relaxation and contraction times and myocardial performance index were greater in fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers (p < 0.001). In fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers with myocardial hypertrophy, left atrial shortening fraction was lower as compared to those without myocardial hypertrophy and those of the control group (p < 0.001).
The results of this study suggest that fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers have altered cardiac function even in the absence of septal hypertrophy, and that left atrial shortening fraction can be used as a reliable alternate parameter in the assessment of fetal diastolic function.
The objective of this study was to assess differences in myocardial systolic and diastolic function and vascular function in children 2−5 years of age born to diabetic as compared to non-diabetic mothers.
This study was a retrospective cohort conducted in 2016 at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. It included children between 2 and 5 years of age born to mothers with and without exposure to diabetes in utero (n = 68 in each group) and who were appropriate for gestational age. Myocardial morphology and function using echocardiogram and carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and pulse wave velocity was performed to evaluate cardiac function as well as macrovascular remodelling in these children. Multiple linear regression was used to compare the groups.
There was no significant difference in cardiac morphology, myocardial systolic and diastolic function, and macrovascular assessment between the exposed and unexposed groups of AGA children. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a significantly decreased mitral E/A ratio in children whose mothers were on medications as compared to those on dietary control (median [IQR] = 1.7 [1.6–1.9] and 1.56 [1.4–1.7], respectively, p = 0.02), and a higher cIMT in children whose mothers were on medication as compared to controls (0.48 [0.44–0.52] and 0.46 [0.44–0.50], respectively, p = 0.03).
In utero exposure to uncontrolled maternal diabetes has an effect on the cardiovascular structure and function in children aged 2−5 years. However, future work requires long-term follow-up from fetal to adult life to assess these changes over the life course.
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