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OBJECTIVE: We investigated if women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in the third trimester of pregnancy exhibit adverse cardiac alterations in myocardial energetics, function, or tissue characteristics. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Thirty-eight healthy, pregnant women and 30 women with GDM were recruited. Participants underwent phosphorus MRS and cardiovascular magnetic resonance for assessment of myocardial energetics (phosphocreatine [PCr] to ATP ratio), tissue characteristics, biventricular volumes and ejection fractions, left ventricular (LV) mass, global longitudinal shortening (GLS), and mitral in-flow E-wave to A-wave ratio. RESULTS: Participants were matched for age, gestational age, and ethnicity. The following data are reported as mean ± SD. The women with GDM had higher BMI (27 ± 4 vs. 33 ± 5 kg/m2; P = 0.0001) and systolic (115 ± 11 vs. 121 ± 13 mmHg; P = 0.04) and diastolic (72 ± 7 vs. 76 ± 9 mmHg; P = 0.04) blood pressures. There was no difference in N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide concentrations between the groups. The women with GDM had lower myocardial PCr to ATP ratio (2.2 ± 0.3 vs. 1.9 ± 0.4; P < 0.0001), accompanied by lower LV end-diastolic volumes (76 ± 12 vs. 67 ± 11 mL/m2; P = 0.002) and higher LV mass (90 ± 13 vs. 103 ± 18 g; P = 0.001). Although ventricular ejection fractions were similar, the GLS was reduced in women with GDM (-20% ± 3% vs. -18% ± 3%; P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: Despite no prior diagnosis of diabetes, women with obesity and GDM manifest impaired myocardial contractility and higher LV mass, associated with reductions in myocardial energetics in late pregnancy compared with lean women with healthy pregnancy. These findings may aid our understanding of the long-term cardiovascular risks associated with GDM.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Care

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