Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2019 Oct;26(5):225-231. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000491.


Purpose of review: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is a common diagnosis among women of reproductive age. The importance of sufficient maternal thyroid supply during pregnancy is well known. Nevertheless, the effects of SCH during pregnancy and the efficacy of its treatment on maternofetal outcomes are not well established. This review discusses the recent evidence on SCH in pregnancy and how this evidence is reflected in current clinical care.

Recent findings: Recent observational studies have found a positive association between SCH during pregnancy and adverse maternal, neonatal and offspring outcomes, mainly in thyroid peroxidase autoantibody positive women. Although interventional studies have shown a benefit of levothyroxine (LT4) treatment on selected pregnancy outcomes, there was no effect on offspring neurodevelopment.

Summary: Current evidence strengthens the association between SCH with both maternofetal and offspring adverse outcomes. An earlier and more individualized diagnostic assessment taking into consideration predictors of thyroid dysfunction and major risk factors for complications could result in better management of SCH during pregnancy. The effectiveness of LT4 on improving maternofetal and long-term offspring outcomes is still not fully elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / complications
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use


  • Thyroxine