Glucose Challenge Test (GCT): Introduction, Testing Time, Importance, patient Preparation, and Keynotes

Introduction of Glucose Challenge Test(GCT)

The glucose challenge test (GCT) determines our body’s response to glucose (sugar). The GCT is done during pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

GCT Testing Time

It is generally tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Importance of Glucose Challenge Test

It is usually tested to find out gestational diabetes in pregnant ladies. If a lady had developed gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, the test is done for every subsequent pregnancy. A Lady who is overweight at the time of getting pregnant is also advised to do the GCT. Polycystic ovarian syndrome women should be tested for GCT since the chances of developing diabetes are quite high in this case.

Collected blood for Glucose Challenge Test (GCT)

Collected blood for Glucose Challenge Test (GCT)
Fig. Collected blood (separated serum) for Glucose Challenge Test (GCT)

Reading blood glucose level via semi-autoanalyzer

Reading blood glucose level via semi-autoanalyzer
Fig. Reading blood glucose level via semi-autoanalyzer

Patient Preparation for GCT

There is no need for vast preparation for this assay. However, it is recommended that nothing should be eaten about 8 hours before the test. Just prior to the test, the client (lady) has to drink a glucose solution (50 grams in a glass) quickly. About one hour later, blood is drawn for the test. The one-hour gap is taken since the glucose levels peak one hour after the consumption of glucose and then begin to drop subsequently. This is only the initial part. If the GCT results show that you have gestational diabetes, further diagnosis is recommended for a glucose tolerance test (GTT) test.

Normal Range of GCT

 <140 mg/dL or 7.8 mmol/L

Keynote on GCT

  1. GCT can be tested as early as the first prenatal visit if a pregnant lady is at high risk of gestational diabetes due to obesity, a personal history of gestational diabetes, a family history of diabetes, or other factors.
  2. Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. Even though, missing careful management, gestational diabetes can result in various pregnancy complications,e.g. excess fetal growth which might increase the risk of birth injuries or prompt a C-section (CS) delivery.
  3. The glucose solution is usually extremely sweet and the client may begin to feel sick after drinking it. A lot of people have been known to vomit just after they have consumed the solution. However, if vomiting happens, the test should be taken on next day again.

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