A clinical study which relates to a theoretical simulation of the glucose transport in the human placenta under various diabetic conditions

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Abstract

Aims:

To characterize placental glucose delivery under normoglycemic conditions, gestational and pre-gestational diabetes and to relate the clinical data to theoretical predictions.

Methods:

Data from 125 pregnancies: 50 normal gestations and 75 ones with various types of diabetes were collected. In parallel, we formulated a theoretical model for the transport of glucose under various diabetic conditions. Measured glucose blood levels were fed into the theoretical model that predicts glucose supply to the fetus and the results were confronted with measured fetal weights.

Results:

Measured fetal weight and computed glucose delivery in gestational diabetic parturients resemble the situation in normal pregnancies. However, pre-gestational diabetes has a major effect as it involves heavier fetuses and enhanced computed glucose fluxes via placental membranes.

Conclusions:

Fetal weight (increased in pre-gestational and unaltered in gestational diabetes) correlates with the predicted rate of glucose delivery through the placenta.

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