Purpose of Review
To elaborate on the risks and benefits associated with antenatal fetal surveillance for stillbirth prevention in women with diabetes.
Women with pregestational diabetes have a 3- to 5-fold increased odds of stillbirth compared to women without diabetes. The stillbirth risk in women with gestational diabetes (GDM) is more controversial; while recent data suggest the odds for stillbirth are approximately 50% higher in women with GDM at term (37 weeks and beyond) than in those without GDM, it is unclear if this risk is seen in women with optimal glycemic control. Current professional society guidelines are broad with respect to fetal testing strategies and delivery timing in women with diabetes.
The data supporting strategies to reduce the risk of stillbirth in women with diabetes are limited. Antepartum fetal surveillance should be performed to reduce stillbirth rates; however, the optimal test, frequency of testing, and delivery timing are not yet clear. Future studies of obstetric management for women with diabetes should consider not just individual but also system level costs and benefits associated with antenatal surveillance.