Transient congenital hypothyroidism

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul;15(Suppl 2):S117-20. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.83345.


Transient thyroid function abnormalities in the new born which revert back to normal after varying periods of time are mostly identified in the neonatal screening tests for thyroid and are becoming more common because of the survival of many more premature infants. It can be due to factors primarily affecting the thyroid-like iodine deficiency or excess, maternal thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) antibodies, maternal use of antithyroid drugs, DUOX 2 (dual oxidase 2) mutations, and prematurity or those that affect the pituitary-like untreated maternal hyperthyroidism, prematurity, and drugs. Most of these require only observation, whereas some, such as those due to maternal TSHR antibodies may last for upto three-to-six months and may necessitate treatment. Isolated hyperthyrotropinemia (normal Tetraiodothyronine (T4) and high Thyroid Stimulating hormone (TSH)) may persist as subclinical hypothyroidism in childhood. Transient hypothyroxinemia (low T4 and normal TSH) is very common in premature babies. The recognition of these conditions will obviate the risks associated with unnecessary thyroxine supplementation in childhood and parental concerns of a life long illness in their offspring.

Keywords: Hyperthyrotropinemia; hypothyroxinemia; transient congenital hypothyroidism.