A comparison of meal tolerance test and oral glucose tolerance test for predicting insulin therapy in patients with gestational diabetes

  • Mai Hijikata Division of Diabetes, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Toho University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, and Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Mariko Higa Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Takamasa Ichijo Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2969-7396
  • Takahisa Hirose Division of Diabetes, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Toho University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6293-5010
Keywords: Gestational diabetes, meal tolerance test, 75g oral glucose tolerance test, insulin resistance, insulin therapy


Aims: To identify factors predicting a need for insulin therapy in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by comparing plasma glucose (PG) levels in a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (75-g OGTT) with those in a 500-kcal meal tolerance test (MTT) containing 75 g of carbohydrate.

Subjects and methods: The MTT was performed in 61 patients who diagnosed with GDM by a 75-g OGTT (age, 33.2 ± 4.5 years; prepregnancy body mass index, 22.6 ± 4.7 kg/m2; number of gestational weeks, 25.1 ± 6.4 weeks). PG and serum insulin levels were measured before the meal and up to 180 min after the meal. The insulin secretion capacity and resistance index were calculated.

Results: PG levels increased from 86.8 ± 8.8 mg/dL at fasting to 132.7 ± 20.1 mg/dL at 30 min, and 137.8 ± 27.7 mg/dL at 60 min after MTT in the 35 patients with needed insulin therapy; these levels were significantly higher than those in the 26 patients, who only needed diet therapy. The patients with needed insulin therapy had significantly higher fasting PG levels in the 75-g OGTT, PG levels at fasting and 30 min after the MTT, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and a significantly lower disposition index (DI) and insulin index than patients treated by diet alone. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed for factors involved in insulin therapy, with the following cutoff values: fasting PG in the 75-g OGTT, 92 mg/dL; PG 30 min after MTT, 129 mg/dL; HOMA-IR, 1.51; DI, 3.9; HbA1c, 5.4%. Multivariate analysis revealed that the 30-min PG level after MTT and HOMA-IR predicted insulin therapy.

Conclusion: PG levels at 30 min after MTT may be useful for identifying patients with GDM, who need insulin therapy.


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How to Cite
Hijikata, M., Higa, M., Ichijo, T., & Hirose, T. (2021). A comparison of meal tolerance test and oral glucose tolerance test for predicting insulin therapy in patients with gestational diabetes. Food & Nutrition Research, 65. https://doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v65.5490
Original Articles