Transient versus Permanent Congenital Hypothyroidism after the Age of 3 Years in Infants Detected on the First versus Second Newborn Screening Test in Oregon, USA

Horm Res Paediatr. 2016;86(3):169-177. doi: 10.1159/000448658. Epub 2016 Sep 6.


Background/aims: The newborn screening (NBS) program in Oregon, USA, collects two routine specimens in all infants. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence of permanent versus transient congenital hypothyroidism (CH) in infants detected on the first versus second screening test.

Methods: Thyroid function was determined in infants after the age of 3 years diagnosed with CH and born in Oregon between 2005 and 2011. Permanent hypothyroidism was defined as a TSH rise >10 mIU/ml after the first year on treatment or a TSH rise >6 mIU/ml with temporary discontinuation of l-thyroxine after the age of 3 years.

Results: Of the cases detected on the first test, 72 of 87 (83%) were permanent and 15 of 87 (17%) were transient, while of the cases detected on the second test, 5 of 22 (23%) were permanent and 17 of 22 (77%) were transient (OR 16.3, p < 0.001). There was a female preponderance detected on the first screen versus a male preponderance on the second screen. Blood spot and serum thyroid function tests at diagnosis, before treatment, were not meaningfully different between the two groups. The mean l-thyroxine dose at the age of 3 years was greater on the first screen: 61.2 versus 36.6 μg/day.

Conclusions: Infants detected on the second NBS specimen have a higher incidence of transient CH. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Oregon
  • Sex Factors
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*


  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine