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How can the occurrence of delayed elevation of thyroid stimulating hormone in preterm infants born between 35 and 36 weeks gestation be predicted?

You Jung Heo, Young Ah Lee, Bora Lee, Yun Jeong Lee, Youn Hee Lim, Hye Rim Chung, Seung Han Shin, Choong Ho Shin, Sei Won Yang
Published: 23 August 2019
PLOS ONE , Volume 14; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0220240

Abstract: We evaluated frequency and risk factors of delayed TSH elevation (dTSH) and investigated follow-up outcomes in the dTSH group with venous TSH (v-TSH) levels of 6–20 mU/L according to whether late preterm infants born at gestational age (GA) 35–36 weeks had risk factors. The medical records of 810 neonates (414 boys) born at Seoul National University Hospital who had a normal neonatal screening test (NST) and underwent the first repeat venous blood test at 10–21 days post birth were reviewed. Seventy-three (9.0%) neonates showed dTSH, defined as a v-TSH level ≥6.0 mU/L, 12 of whom (1.5%) were started on levothyroxine medication. A multivariate-adjusted model indicated that a low birth weight (LBW <2,000 g), a congenital anomaly, and exposure to iodine contrast media (ICM) were significant predictors for dTSH (all p < 0.05). Among these 73 dTSH infants, all 5 infants with TSH levels ≥20 mU/L began levothyroxine medication, and 6 of 16 infants with v-TSH levels of 10–20 mU/L were indicated for levothyroxine, regardless of coexisting risk factors. However, only 1 of 52 infants with v-TSH levels of 6–10 mU/L who had a congenital anomaly was indicated for levothyroxine. All healthy late preterm infants, including LBW and multiple births, with v-TSH levels of 6–10 mU/L exhibited normal thyroid function. dTSH was detected in 9.0% and levothyroxine was indicated in 1.5% of infants born at GA 35–36 weeks, particularly those with a LBW, a congenital anomaly, or history of ICM exposure. Either levothyroxine or retesting is indicated for late preterm neonates with TSH levels ≥10 mU/L regardless of risk factors. If healthy preterm neonates show v-TSH levels of 6–10 mU/L, a second repeat test may not be necessary; however, further studies are required to set a threshold for retesting.
Keywords: infants / Thyroid / Labor and Delivery / neonates / Thyroid-stimulating hormone / Congenital anomalies / twins / Medical Risk Factors

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