How is the risk of shoulder dystocia assessed in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Although ultrasonographic measurements of the fetus have proven to be poor predictors of the risk of shoulder dystocia, this technique continues to be the mainstay for assessing risk in pregnancy for women with diabetes. The commonly used formulas derived from a multivariate regression multiply multiple coefficients together, with the resultant product (estimated fetal weight) typically having an accuracy that is seldom less than within 15%. Fetuses predicted to weigh 4000-4500 g based on ultrasonographic findings actually weigh that much only 50% of the time.

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