Objective To assess the efficacy of postnatal follow-up of babies delivered to women with thyroid disorders and assess its compliance with the locally agreed guidelines.
Methods A retrospective review of all pregnant mothers with thyroid diseases and their babies delivered between April and October 2007; and a review of thyroid function tests on all infants younger than 4 months between 2006 and 2007 in a large teaching hospital.
Results None of the babies born to mothers with thyroid disorders over a 6-month period and none of the laboratory thyroid function tests over a two-year period showed a clinical diagnosis of thyroid disease. See table.
Conclusions Routine postnatal screening of infants of mothers with thyroid diseases (in addition to the universal screening for congenital hypothyroidism which has become the standard in many countries) is probably unjustified. The risk of babies of women with autoimmune hypothyroidism developing transient congenital hypothyroidism caused by maternal TSH-receptor antibodies is negligible, and the risk of neonatal hyperthyroidism developing in babies of mothers with thyrotoxicosis is best predicted by measurement of maternal TSH-receptor antibodies.