Gestational hyperglycemia on diet and medication: impact on placental pathology and pregnancy outcomes


  • Lalitha Natarajan Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
  • G. UmaMaheswari Department of Pathology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India



Gestational diabetes, Gestational hyperglycemia, Perinatal outcome, Placental malperfusion, Placental pathology


Background: To evaluate the placental morphology and perinatal outcome in patients with gestational hyperglycemia on diet and medication.

Methods: Placental examinations performed at the Department of Pathology between August 2016 to August 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Of the received 140 placentas, 35 of gestational diabetes (GDM) and pre gestational diabetes were identified and segregated into hyperglycemia on diet and on medication. The clinical details, placental findings and perinatal outcome of patients in both the groups (gestational hyperglycemia on diet and medication) were collected and analyzed.

Results: Among the 35 cases, there were 24 cases of mild gestational hyperglycemia controlled with diet and 11 cases of hyperglycemia on medication (oral hypoglycemic drugs ± insulin).

Most of the placentae in both the groups weighed less than tenth centile. The cord abnormalities such as hyper coiling, velamentous /marginal insertion and furcate cord were observed more in women with GDM on diet. There was no significant gross placental lesion in those on medication. Placental histological features most consistently associated with both the groups include, disturbances of villous maturation (DVM), Derangements in uteroplacental / foetoplacental circulation and villous capillary lesions. Small for gestational age and intrauterine foetal death were found in both the groups, but more commonly in patients with hyperglycemia on medication.

Conclusions: Villous maturation defects, uteroplacental / foetoplacental malperfusion are the essential placental changes which can result in adverse perinatal outcomes in women with hyperglycemia irrespective of the diabetic control.


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