The metabolic profile of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is associated with impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, and increased fetal growth

Marcus G. Martineau, Christina Raker, Peter H. Dixon, Jenny Chambers, Mavis Machirori, Nicole M. King, Melissa L. Hooks, Ramya Manoharan, Kenneth Chen, Raymond Powrie, Catherine Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Quantification of changes in glucose and lipid concentrations in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and uncomplicated pregnancy and study of their influence on fetal growth.

Research design and methods: A prospective study comparing metabolic outcomes in cholestastic and uncomplicated singleton pregnancies was undertaken at two university hospitals in the U.K. and U.S. from 2011-2014. A total of 26 women with ICP and 27 control pregnancies with no prior history of gestational diabetes mellitus were recruited from outpatient antenatal services and followed until delivery. Alterations in glucose, incretins, cholesterol, and triglycerides were studied using a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system and/or a standard glucose tolerance test (GTT) in conjunction with GLP-1 and a fasting lipid profile. Fetal growth was quantified using adjusted birth centiles.

Results: Maternal blood glucose concentrations were significantly increased in ICP during ambulatory CGM (P < 0.005) and following a GTT (P < 0.005). ICP is characterized by increased fasting triglycerides (P < 0.005) and reduced HDL cholesterol (P < 0.005), similar to changes observed in metabolic syndrome. The offspring of mothers with ICP had significantly larger customized birth weight centiles, adjusted for ethnicity, sex, and gestational age (P < 0.005).

Conclusions: ICP is associated with impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, and increased fetal growth. These findings may have implications regarding the future health of affected offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Adult
  • Birth Weight/physiology
  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic/metabolism
  • Cholesterol/metabolism
  • Diabetes, Gestational/metabolism
  • Dyslipidemias/metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetal Development/physiology
  • Fetal Macrosomia/metabolism
  • Gestational Age
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1/metabolism
  • Glucose Intolerance/metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Lipids/blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome/metabolism
  • Metabolome/physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications/metabolism
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Triglycerides/metabolism

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