Hypothyroidism in pregnancy

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 May;16(3):364-70. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.95667.

Abstract

Pregnancy is a period that places great physiological stress on both the mother and the fetus. When pregnancy is compounded by endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism, the potential for maternal and fetal adverse outcomes can be immense. While a lot of attention has been focused on the adverse fetal outcomes consequent to hypothyroidism, attention is also being gradually directed towards the adverse maternal outcomes of this disorder. Role of antibody positivity in influencing outcomes in a euthyroid woman, also needs further clarification. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism in pregnancy is very essential. Subclinical hypothyroidism also needs to be detected and treated to prevent adverse outcomes, especially maternal. Since women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy, especially of the autoimmune variety might have a flare up of the disorder post-partum, or might continue to require thyroxine replacement post-partum, adequate follow-up is mandatory. While targeted case finding is generally practised, recent evidence seems to indicate that universal screening might be a better option. In conclusion, routine screening, early confirmation of diagnosis and prompt treatment. Allied with regular post-partum follow up, is required to ensure favourable maternal and fetal outcomes.

Keywords: Hypothyroidism; pregnancy; subclinical hypothyroidism; targeted screening; universal screening.