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Does diabetes mellitus affect the development of fetal brain structures and spaces including corpus callosum, subarachnoid space, insula, and parieto-occipital fissure?

J Clin Ultrasound. 2023 Oct 21. doi: 10.1002/jcu.23597. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: We investigated the impact of pregestational and gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM and GDM) on the development of fetal intracranial structures and spaces.

METHODS: This prospective cross-sectional study involved singleton pregnancies between 20 and 32 weeks of gestation. The study comprised a control group (n = 65) of healthy pregnant women without diabetes mellitus (DM); a PGDM group (n = 43) of pregnant women having type 2 DM in a controlled diabetic state; and a GDM group (n = 26) of pregnant women with GDM diagnosed with 2-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test and received intervention to reduce the diabetic impact on fetus. During neurosonographic evaluation, the simultaneous measurements of corpus callosum (CC) width and depth in the midsagittal image; and lateral craniocortical and posterior craniocortical widths of the subarachnoid space and insular and parieto-occipital fissure depths in the axial image were performed. Before statistical analysis, these values were carefully adjusted for the occipitofrontal diameter.

RESULTS: The DM groups displayed substantially higher frequencies of family history of DM and obstetric history of GDM compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Regarding the neurosonographic parameters, the CC length and insular and parieto-occipital fissure depths were significantly increased in the GDM group but not in the PGDM group (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found among the study groups regarding other neurosonographic parameters (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results of neurosonographical evaluation of fetal brain structures and spaces reveal that diabetic impact may not be seen in the presence of PGDM, especially in pregnant women receiving prenatal interventions to reduce or avoid diabetic adverse effects on fetal brain development. The effect of GDM on neurosonographically assessed fetal brain development should be evaluated in further studies with subjects matched for gestational weeks and antenatal care conditions.

PMID:37864816 | DOI:10.1002/jcu.23597

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