Congenital hypothyroidism is one of the commonest preventable causes of mental retardation is also the most common congenital endocrine disorder of childhood. The subtlety of clinical features and protective effect of the maternal hormone on fetal brain after crossing the placenta mask the clinical features. The incidence varies from 1 in 4000 to 1 in 1000 in newborn infants in various parts of world and is increasing worldwide. Thyroid agenesis remains the most common etiology of CH and other causes are dyshormonogenesis, defects in peripheral thyroid hormone transport, metabolism, or action. CH is usually diagnosed after neonatal screening tests and if treatment started with in few weeks of birth neurodevelopmental outcome is usually normal. Levothyroxine (T4) remains the treatment of choice as most brain T3 is derived from local monodeiodination of T4 and studies have shown normal serum level of T3 in infant treated with T4 alone.
Part of the book: Thyroid Disorders