Fetal thymus size in pregnant women with diabetic diseases

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The aim of our study was to assess fetal thymus size in diabetic pregnancies compared with normal pregnancies.


Sonographic fetal thymus size was retrospectively assessed in 161 pregnancies with maternal diabetes and in 161 uncomplicated pregnancies matched by gestational age. The anteroposterior thymic and the intrathoracic mediastinal diameter were measured and the quotient was calculated [thymic-thoracic ratio (TT-ratio)]. In addition, we defined the quotient of the anteroposterior thymic diameter and the head circumference as thymus-head ratio (TH-ratio). The maternal diabetes cases were subdivided into three groups: (1) diet-controlled gestational diabetes, (2) insulin-dependent gestational diabetes and (3) preexisting maternal diabetes.


TT-ratio and TH-ratio were smaller in pregnancies with maternal diabetes (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively). In all three maternal diabetes subgroups, the TT-ratio and the TH-ratio were lower compared with the control group (P<0.001 for each group).


Reduced fetal thymus size seems to be associated with diabetic pregnancy. We introduce fetal thymus size as a new potential prognostic parameter for maternal diabetes.

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