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What is a GCT Test – Its Meaning, Procedure, and Result Interpretation

Posted On Wednesday 17th May 2017 12:07 PM


A Glucose Challenge Test (GCT Test) or otherwise known as a Glucose Tolerance Test is an effective way to check how well the cells of body are absorbing glucose post ingestion of a particular quantity of sugar. A kind of blood test, it helps in mapping blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1C values for the diagnosis of a diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Who is recommended a GCT Test?

A gestational diabetic condition usually takes place when a pregnant woman with no history of diabetes before pregnancy records high blood sugar levels due to conception. The condition is known to cause complications during pregnancy and hence, early detection and treatment is imperative. A GCT test is usually recommended between the 24th and 28th week of the pregnancy.

How to Prepare for GCT Test?

A GCT Test during pregnancy involves taking the below mentioned steps:-

  • Eat a normal diet days before the test.
  • Consult your OB/GYN about any medications that one might have to leave before the best. This is because some medications, such as corticosteroids, diuretics, beta-blockers, and antidepressants, hinder with the test results.
  • Avoid eating a mal for at least eight hours before the test. Drinking water, however, is allowed. Avoid beverages like coffee and caffeinated tea, etc. These are known to interfere with the test results.
  • It’s recommended that one must avoid visiting the washroom just before the start of the procedure as a urine sample might be needed.

What happens during a GCT Test?

A GCT test is usually performed in two steps. During the first step, a patient is made to drink approximately 5 ounces of a glucose syrup solution which contains 1.8 ounces of sugar. After about an hour a sample of blood is collected from one of the veins for the purpose of testing and analysis. The patient can immediately return to her normal activities post of the test procedure.

Many health checkup packages in Kolkata for pregnant women include a GCT test. GCT test price otherwise too is quite minimal and the service if offered by almost all the leading diagnostic centres and pathology chains of the nation.

What do the Test Results Signify?

The results of a GCT test are interpreted in milligrams per deciloitre (mg/dL). A blood sugar level recorded below 140 mg/dL is considered as normal. However, a level that’s 140 mg/dL or higher indicates the presence of gestation diabetic condition.

The values mention here are indicative as different pathology labs make use of different testing techniques and hence, their range values can widely differ.

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