Diabetic embryopathy refers to a spectrum of fetal anomalies that precipitate when the mother has background type I diabetes mellitus. The fetus may develop many of the fetal conditions associated with maternal diabetes although strictly speaking the anomalies should only include those that start in the embryonic stage when the fetus is still an embryo. The precipitation of diabetic embryopathy is related to the degree of hyperglycemia as well as many other factors. The presence of maternal hyperglycemia in early pregnancy leads to increased rates of spontaneous abortions and major malformations because of yolk sac failure.
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