One Step or Two Step: Which is the Best Method for GDM Screening?

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

  • The best method for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) screening remains controversial
  • One-step approach: 75 g 2 hours OGTT using the IADPSG criteria
    • Recommended by: IADPSG | FIGO | WHO
  • Two-step approach: 50 g 1 hour GCT followed by a 3 hours 100 g OGTT
    • Recommended by: ACOG | ADA
  • Saccone et al. (The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 2018) assessed the incidence of maternal and neonatal outcomes comparing one-step vs  two-step approach

METHODS:

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Data sources
    • Electronic database from inception until June 2018
  • Inclusion criteria
    • RCTs that compared the one-step vs two-step method for screening and diagnosis of GDM
  • Study design
    • Large for gestation age (LGA): Defined as birth weight >90th percentile
    • Meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model
      • Treatment effects calculated as relative risk (RR) with 95% CI
  • Primary outcome
    • Incidence of LGA
  • Multiple secondary outcomes included
    • Maternal complications such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, induction of labor, shoulder dystocia and cesarean delivery
    • Neonatal adverse outcomes, including neonatal hypoglycemia or hyperbilirubinemia and NICU admission  

RESULTS:

  • 4 RCTs were included | Total of 2582 participants | Overall risk of bias was low
  • Control groups (2-step approach) among the 4 studies
    • 2 trials: 50 g 1 hour GCT followed by 100 g 3 hours (OGTT)
    • 1 trial: 50 g 1-hour test before randomization with exclusion if glucose ≥200 mg/dL
    • 3-arm trial with two control groups (considered as 1 control group for this meta-analysis)
      • Two-step 50 g 1 hour followed by 100 g 3 hours OGTT
      • Two-step 50 g 1 hour GCT followed by 75 g 2 hours OGTT
  • Management of diabetes also differed with respect to use of insulin as exclusive first line medication as well as glucose target values  
  • One-step approach was associated with a lower risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, such as
    • LGA (primary outcome): 2.9% vs 6.3%; RR 0.46 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.83)
    • NICU admission: RR 0.49 (95% CI, 0.29 to 0.84)
    • Neonatal hypoglycemia: RR 0.52 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.95)
  • The one-step approach was associated with lower mean birth weight
    • Mean difference −112.91 grams (95% CI, −190.48 to −35.33)
  • There was no significant difference in the incidence of GDM
    • One step: 8.3%
    • Two step: 4.4%
    • RR 1.60 (95% CI 0.93 to 2.75)
  • Authors performed a subgroup analysis removing the 3-arm trial (slightly different inclusion criteria, i.e. multiple gestations) and also differences in screening criteria compared to the other studies (Canadian Diabetes Association)
    • Incidence of GDM was increased with removal of this trial (12.6% vs 5.6%; RR 2.20)
  • Subgroup analysis was only performed for GDM incidence and not perinatal outcomes

CONCLUSION:

  • In this meta-analysis, the one-step approach to GDM screening was associated with better perinatal outcomes compared to the two-step approach
  • The authors state that

The argument against the one-step approach has been that it increases the incidence of GDM significantly, without proven improvement in maternal and/or perinatal outcomes
Our meta-analysis of RCTs, however, provides level-1 evidence that the one-step approach significantly improves perinatal outcomes
In particular, we found a 54% reduction in the risk of LGA

Learn More – Primary Sources:

Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus: one step versus two step approach. A meta-analysis of randomized trials