Three-year follow-up of borderline congenital hypothyroidism

J Pediatr. 2000 Jan;136(1):53-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(00)90049-0.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with borderline hypothyroidism in the neonatal period had persistent hypothyroidism after 3 years of levothyroxine replacement therapy. Fourteen term infants with slightly abnormal newborn screening results (thyroxine <10th percentile, thyroid stimulating hormone ¿TSH <40 microU/mL) were identified. The subsequent serum confirmatory TSH results of 12 subjects were modestly elevated (5.3 to 18.8 microU/mL, normal 0.6 to 4.6), whereas 2 subjects who had borderline confirmatory TSH (4.6 and 4.7 microU/mL) had abnormal TSH responses to thyrotropin releasing hormone testing. After 3 years of therapy, levothyroxine was discontinued in 13 patients, and repeat thyroid function tests were obtained 1 month later. Levothyroxine was not discontinued in one patient because he had an elevated random TSH (10 microU/mL) while receiving therapy. At 3 years of age, 13 patients had persistently abnormal thyroid function tests (TSH >4.6 microU/mL or a thyroid releasing hormone test result consistent with primary hypothyroidism), and levothyroxine was reinitiated. Only one patient had normal thyroid function studies. Although prospective studies are still lacking, we recommend levothyroxine replacement in newborns with borderline hypothyroidism.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy
  • Hypothyroidism / physiopathology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*


  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine