Screening for Pre-eclampsia in Type 1 Diabetes

Serum Fatty Acid Binding Protein 4 (FABP4) Predicts Pre-eclampsia in Women With Type 1 Diabetes. Wotherspoon AC, Young IS, McCance DR, Patterson CC, Maresh MJA, Pearson DWM, Walker JD, Holmes VA, for the Diabetes and Pre-eclampsia Intervention Trial (DAPIT) Study Group. Diabetes Care 2016 Oct; 39(10): 1827-1829. http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc16-0803

What to Know

Pre-eclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure or protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy, can lead to serious health complications for mother and baby. The condition is 2-4 times more common in women with type 1 diabetes.  Previous studies have shown that the presence of elevated levels of fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4)—which is involved in the transport and metabolism of fatty acids in the body—is associated with the development of pre-eclampsia. However, those studies did not include women with diabetes.

The Study

Researchers examined data from the Diabetes and Pre-eclampsia Intervention Trial (DAPIT), in which blood samples were taken from 710 women with type 1 diabetes in early pregnancy and in the second trimester. The samples were analyzed for FABP4, and those that went on to develop pre-eclampsia were noted.

The Findings

FABP4 levels (at 14 and 26 weeks of gestation) were found to be significantly elevated in women with type 1 diabetes who later developed pre-eclampsia, compared with those who did not.

Takeaways

This research confirms that the presence of elevated FABP4 during pregnancy can predict pre-eclampsia in women with type 1 diabetes and suggests it may be an important biomarker for use in screening.