Neonatal hypothyroidism

Alternative Names

Cretinism; Congenital hypothyroidism; Hypothyroidism – infants

Definition of Neonatal hypothyroidism

Neonatal hypothyroidism is decreased thyroid hormone production in a newborn. In very rare cases, no thyroid hormone is produced.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hypothyroidism in the newborn may be caused by:

Symptoms

Most affected infants have few or no symptoms, because they only have a mild decrease in thyroid hormone production. However, infants with severe hypothyroidism often have a distinctive appearance. Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

A physical exam may reveal:

Treatment

Early diagnosis is very important. Most of the effects of hypothyroidism are easily reversible.

Expectations (prognosis)

Very early diagnosis generally results in a good outcome. Newborns diagnosed and treated in the first month or so generally develop normal intelligence.

Review

Robert Cooper, MD, Endocinology Specialist and Chief of Medicine, Holyoke Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Alan Greene, MD, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/12/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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