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Congenital hypothyroidism in preterm infants: a 3- to 8-year longitudinal study in southern Thailand

Authors
  • Jaruratanasirikul, Somchit
  • Janjindamai, Waricha
  • Sriplung, Hutcha
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Aug 29, 2019
Volume
32
Issue
11
Pages
1275–1282
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/jpem-2019-0054
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Background Preterm infants are at high risk of developing congenital hypothyroidism (CH) due to the immaturity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, loss of iodine supply from the mother and preterm health problems. Objectives To study the incidence and etiologies of CH in preterm infants who were born or admitted in our institute during 2010–2015. Methods The medical records of preterm infants diagnosed with CH as defined by the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level at the time of the first or second screening >10 mU/L and/or free T4 < 1.00 ng/dL were reviewed. Results Of 2777 preterm infants, 73 cases (2.6%) were diagnosed as CH. The average TSH levels at the first and second screenings were 20.85 and 15.42 mU/L, respectively. The patients were treated with thyroxine at an average initial dosage of 15 μg/kg/day. At 2–3 years of age, after thyroxine discontinuation for 6–10 weeks and regular thyroid function tests for 2 years, 58 patients (79.5%) were diagnosed as having transient CH and 15 patients (20.5%) were diagnosed as having permanent CH. We found no clinical or laboratory parameters in the neonatal period that could differentiate permanent from transient CH. Thyroid scintigraphy (99 m pertechnetate) revealed two patients (13.3%) with ectopic thyroid, one with thyroid hypoplasia (6.7%), eight with normal thyroid (53.3%) and four with enlarged thyroid (26.7%). Conclusions CH was common in preterm infants with an estimated incidence of 2.6%. Thyroxine should be given to preterm infants with higher initial values of TSH >10 mU/L in order to prevent delayed treatment of permanent CH that could be confirmed later.

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