Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the most common cause of preventable but irreversible mental retardation in children, although the risk has been widely abolished by national neonatal screening programs. The aim of this study was to determine, (a) the cause of CH, (b) the etiological cause of persistent CH and (c) to investigate the role of laboratory and clinical data in predicting persistent and transient CH. Materials and methods: Patients diagnosed with CH, who started L-thyroxine treatment and were followed up for at least three years were included. Patient data were reviewed retrospectively. Serum thyroid hormones were measured four weeks after discontinuation of therapy at age three or earlier. Cases with a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) value of >10 mIU/mL were accepted as permanent hypothyroidism, while cases with normal TSH values for six months after cessation were accepted as transient hypothyroidism. Results: There were 232 treated cases, of whom 108 (46.6%) were female, and 169 (72.8%) were eventually diagnosed with transient CH. The best cut-off point for predicting permanent status was determined as LT4 cut-off dose ≥1.45 mcg/kg/day. The median (range) duration of L-thyroxine treatment in transient hypothyroid cases was 24 (range: 6-36) months, and treatment was discontinued before the age of three years in 64%. Conclusion: It has been shown that the most common etiologic cause of CH is transient hypothyroidism. The thyroxine dose at the time of discontinuation of treatment and free thyroxine and TSH levels at the time of diagnosis are essential determinants in distinguishing permanent/transient CH.


Congenital hypothyroidism, transient hypothyroidism, permanent hypothyroidism, etiology

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