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Open AccessArticle

Real-World Gestational Diabetes Screening: Problems with the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test in Rural and Remote Australia

1
The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, Bunbury 6233, Australia
2
Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services, Broome 6725, Australia
3
The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, Broome 6725, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224488
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 10 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural and Remote Health)
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most common antenatal complication in Australia. All pregnant women are recommended for screening by 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). As part of a study to improve screening, 694 women from 27 regional, rural and remote clinics were recruited from 2015–2018 into the Optimisation of Rural Clinical and Haematological Indicators for Diabetes in pregnancy (ORCHID) study. Most routine OGTT samples were analysed more than four hours post fasting collection (median 5.0 h, range 2.3 to 124 h), potentially reducing glucose levels due to glycolysis. In 2019, to assess pre-analytical plasma glucose (PG) instability over time, we evaluated alternative sample handling protocols in a sample of participants. Four extra samples were collected alongside routine room temperature (RT) fluoride-oxalate samples (FLOXRT): study FLOXRT; ice slurry (FLOXICE); RT fluoride-citrate-EDTA (FC Mix), and RT lithium-heparin plasma separation tubes (PST). Time course glucose measurements were then used to estimate glycolysis from ORCHID participants who completed routine OGTT after 24 weeks gestation (n = 501). Adjusting for glycolysis using FLOXICE measurements estimated 62% under-diagnosis of GDM (FLOXRT 10.8% v FLOXICE 28.5% (95% CI, 20.8–29.5%), p < 0.001). FC Mix tubes provided excellent glucose stability but gave slightly higher results (Fasting PG: +0.20 ± 0.05 mmol/L). While providing a realistic alternative to the impractical FLOXICE protocol, direct substitution of FC Mix tubes in clinical practice may require revision of GDM diagnostic thresholds. View Full-Text
Keywords: gestational diabetes; GDM; oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT; glycolysis gestational diabetes; GDM; oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT; glycolysis
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Jamieson, E.L.; Spry, E.P.; Kirke, A.B.; Atkinson, D.N.; Marley, J.V. Real-World Gestational Diabetes Screening: Problems with the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test in Rural and Remote Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4488.

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