Graves’ disease is an autoimmune organ specific disease characterized by excessive production of hormones from the thyroid gland and by its diffuse enlargement. The growth and function of the thyroid gland are stimulated by autoantibodies directed against the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor. Pregnancies complicated by Graves’ disease are characterized with higher incidence of abortion, preterm delivery, low-birth- weight infants and neonatal mortality, as well as maternal complications such as heart failure, eclampsia and rarely thyroid storm. When fully controlled hyperthyroidism have excellent outcomes. Different therapeutic approaches are used in women with Graves’ planning pregnancy and in those when the disease is diagnosed after they became pregnant. Thionamides are the first choice for treatment, with Propylthyouracil being preferred for the first trimester and Methimazole for the second and third trimester. Aplasia cutis and some other malformations were associated with methimazole use during pregnancy. Monitoring the effect of treatment should ensure keeping maternal FT4 in the high normal range. Block-and replace regimen is not recommended and rdioiodine therapy is absolutely contraindicated. Thyroidectomy may be considered before pregnancy or in rare cases in the second trimester. Iodine is avoided because of the risk of fetal hypothyroidism and goiter. The use of beta-blockers is controversial. Noenatal thyrotoxicosis may occur in association with maternal Graves’ disease due to maternal TSAbs cross through the placenta.
Part of the book: Graves' Disease