Maternal factors and complications of preterm birth associated with neonatal thyroid stimulating hormone

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep;27(9-10):929-38. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0366.


Thyroid hormones are important regulators of fetal neurodevelopment. Among preterm infants, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is highly variable. Understanding this variability will further improvements in screening for thyroid disorders in preterm infants. We examined 61 maternal and infant clinical and demographic factors for associations with neonatal TSH levels in 698 preterm neonates. TSH was measured as part of routine State-mandated newborn screening in Iowa. Of the maternal characteristics, nulliparous women (p=8×10-4), women with preeclampsia (p=2×10-3), and those with induced labor (p=3×10-3) had infants with higher TSH levels. TSH levels at the time of newborn screening were associated with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) (p<0.0001) and sepsis (p=3×10-3). We replicated findings between parity and preeclampsia previously observed in primarily term infants. We also observed strong relationships between neonatal TSH and complications of prematurity including RDS and sepsis, which have implications for future studies examining this relationship both prenatally and longitudinally after birth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Labor, Induced*
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / blood*
  • Thyrotropin / blood*


  • Thyrotropin