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Guideline Adherence and Registry Recruitment of Congenital Primary Hypothyroidism: Data from the German Registry for Congenital Hypothyroidism (HypoDok)

Published: 12 February 2021
 by  MDPI AG
International Journal of Neonatal Screening , Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010010

Abstract: Neonatal screening for congenital primary hypothyroidism (CH) is mandatory in Germany but medical care thereafter remains inconsistent. Therefore, the registry HypoDok of the German Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (DGKED) was analyzed to evaluate the implementation of evidence-based guidelines and to assess the number of included patients. Inclusion criteria were (i) date of birth between 10/2001 and 05/2020 and (ii) increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at screening and/or confirmation. The cohort was divided into before (A) and after (B) guideline publication in 02/2011, to assess the guideline’s influence on medical care. A total of 659 patients were analyzed as group A (n = 327) and group B (n = 332) representing 17.5% and 10.3% of CH patients identified in the German and Austrian neonatal screening program during the respective time period. Treatment start and thyroxine doses were similar in both groups and consistent with recommendations. Regular follow-ups were documented. In the first three years of life, less than half of the patients underwent audiometry; developmental assessment was performed in 49.3% (A) and 24.8% (B) (p < 0.01). Documentation of CH patient care by pediatric endocrinologists seemed to be established, however, it reflected only a minority of the affected patients. Therefore, comprehensive documentation as an important instrument of quality assurance and evidence-based medicine should be legally enforced and officially funded in order to record, comprehend, and optimize care and outcome in patients with rare diseases such as CH.
Keywords: quality assurance / standardized documentation / longitudinal comparison / multicenter database

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