Preliminary report on a mass screening program for neonatal hypothyroidism

J Pediatr. 1975 May;86(5):670-4. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(75)80349-0.


We have recently developed an immunoassay that can measure thyroxine rapidly and accurately in the eluate of 40 mul of dried blood spotted on filter paper at the fifth day of life. The method is completely automated and by using the samples received by the Central Laboratory of the Quebec Network for Genetic Medicine and their follow-up facilities, we are now screening every newborn in the province of Quebec for neonatal hypothyroidism. To date, from 47,000 measurements, three newborn infants with abnormally low TBG and seven hypothyroid infants have been detected. From these data we conclude that the frequency of congenital hypothyroidism is about one in 7,000 births and that our method is effective in detecting thyroid hormone abnormalities with an acceptable percentage of false positive measurements; no false negative results have occurred to our knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis
  • Hypothyroidism / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Paper
  • Quebec
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Thyroid Function Tests / methods
  • Thyroxine / blood*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Thyroxine