Current screening methods for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are insufficient in detecting the risk of GDM in the first trimester of the pregnancy. Recent metabolomic studies have detected altered amino acid and acylcarnitine concentrations in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Because of the similarities between T2D and GDM, the determination of these metabolites may be useful in early screening for GDM.
To evaluate the association between GDM and first-trimester maternal serum concentrations of ten amino acids and 31 acylcarnitines.
This retrospective case-control study included data from pregnant women screened at Oulu University Hospital between 1.1.2008 and 31.12.2011. A total of 31,146 women participated voluntarily in a first-trimester combined screening (for chromosomal abnormalities). The study population included 69 women who developed GDM during pregnancy and 295 women without diabetes before or after pregnancy. The serum concentrations of ten amino acids and 31 acylcarnitines were analyzed from frozen serum samples taken in the first-trimester screening. Multiple of median (MoM) values were compared between the two groups.
In the GDM group, serum levels of arginine were significantly higher (1.13 MoM vs. 0.97 MoM), and those of glycine (0.93 MoM vs. 1.03 MoM) and 3-hydroxy-isovalerylcarnitine (0.86 MoM vs. 1.03 MoM) significantly lower compared to the control group (all p