The lack of thyroid hormones in the final weeks of pregnancy it can lead to an irreversible mental retardation in the baby, since these are essential for the central nervous system to develop properly. In addition, they are also important for the digestive system, the reproductive system or the heart, among other organs, to function correctly. In short, for the development of the fetus is on track it is necessary that pregnant women have normal values ​​of normal thyroid hormones (which means having levels of iodo correct).

And is that hypothyroidism is estimated to affect between one and three of every hundred children. This is one of the main reasons why the Commission of Perinatal Diagnosis of the Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology (SEQC) is seeking to improve the early diagnosis of this pathology, so that congenital hypothyroidism is detected with greater fast even though the little ones do not have symptoms. Something that is possible thanks to the total implantation in all the Spanish territory of the Neonatal Screening.

A timely diagnosis of hypothyroidism may allow to prevent alterations of the thyroid gland in adulthood

The tests of thyroid function that are carried out in the pediatric consultations refine more and more the diagnoses, thus allowing to initiate more effective treatments. In addition to that the false negatives are now easier to detect - as in the case of the twins - since the measurement of TSH in the capillary blood of the newborn obtained in the heel test is repeated after two weeks.

The next objective of this Commission is to improve early detection in premature babies and to better understand how transient hypothyroidism works (temporary changes in the functioning of the thyroid). According to experts, the greatest challenge remains to decipher the genetic origin of this disease. A timely diagnosis of hypothyroidism may allow to prevent alterations of the thyroid gland in adulthood.

Source: Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology (SEQC)

Pediatric Thyroid Disorders: Diagnosis, management and treatment (November 2019).