Hypothyroxinemia during pregnancy: the effect on neurodevelopment in the child

Int J Dev Neurosci. 2012 Oct;30(6):435-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Aug 1.


Context: Experimental studies have shown that maternal hypothyroxinemia during early pregnancy is associated with poor neurodevelopment in affected offspring.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of maternal serum free T4 on psychomotor development of offspring.

Materials and methods: The study involved 147 women in the third trimester (week 37) of pregnancy. TSH and free T4 serum levels were measured at 37 week gestation. The children were evaluated between 38 and 60 months of age by the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities.

Results: 54.4% of the women had a free T4 below the threshold of hypothyroxinemia. We find a significant effect of maternal hypothyroxinemia on the general cognitive index, and on perceptual-manipulative and memory coefficients.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Hypothyroidism / urine
  • Iodine / urine
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / urine
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology


  • Iodine