Abstract. Very little immunological research has been undertaken in pregnant diabetic women in relation to insulin therapy.
We investigated the relations between treatment with insulins of varied immunogenic character and the presence of immune factors such as insulin antibodies, immune complexes and insulin antiinsulin complexes as well as some maternal and neonatal complications of diabetic pregnancy.
128 insulin treated diabetic pregnant women and 121 of their newborns were included in the study.
The incidence of insulin antibodies, immune complexes and insulin antiinsulin complexes was lower in patients treated with highly purified insulins than in those treated with conventional insulins.
The insulin antibody levels were significantly related to the occurrence of maternal and neonatal morbibity.
The presence of insulin antiinsulin complexes in the cord blood of infants of diabetic mothers was related to the presence of these complexes in their mothers.
Our results seem to indicate that the use of highly purified insulin could favour the outcome of diabetic pregnancy.