The Importance of Screening in Congenital Hypothyroidism

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Congenital hypothyroidism is the most common cause of preventable mental retardation in children. However, early diagnosis and treatment improve the prognosis of mental retardation. Clinical diagnosis of Congenital hypothyroidism is not also evident in the neonatal period. Therefore, screening all newborns for early diagnosis and treatment is essential. This paper aimed to analyze the results of neonatal screening at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included all newborns who admitted in Mashhad hospitals From March 20, 2012 to March 19, 2013.
Overall, 104,399 cases referred to healthcare centers, and the soles of the feet were screened for congenital hypothyroidism. In this study, all the neonates were screened. 
Results: Overall, 48% of the patients were females. Also, 82.6% of the samples were obtained within 3-5 days of birth and the rest after 5 days. Based on the experimental results, 95.2%, 4.6%,  0.2%, and  0.1% of the newborns had thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level of <5, 5-9, 10-19.9, and >20 mu/L, respectively. After the second test, 229 patients (prevalence=2 per 1000 live births) were treated based on the diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism, and 84.7% of the cases were treated while they were less than 28 days of age.
Conclusion:Based on these results and the importance of rapid diagnosis and initiation of treatment in infants with congenital hypothyroidism, it is necessary to raise public awareness, encourage parents, and use the potential of other organizations and agencies.