Background and aims Autoimmune problems in mums are known to affect the newborn due to transplacental passage of antibodies. It Is reported that maternal autoimmune hypothyroidism can lead to transient but potentially serious effects in newborn babies warranting treatment. This has led to the practice of screening babies to help in early diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately clinical practice in this area still suffers from conflicting evidence.
We carried out this retrospective review of our practice of assessing neonatal thyroid function in maternal autoimmune hyperthyroidism to help inform our practice locally whilst contributing to the discussion towards building a consensus nationally and internationally.
Methods Newborn babies born between January 2012 to March 2014 to mothers with autoimmune hypothyroid problems had their thyroid functions checked on day 3 and 10 respectively. They were also monitored clinically for signs and symptoms of hypo/ hyperthyroidism.
Results Overall 31 babies were screened in the study period, of which none warranted treatment for transient or permanent hypo/hyperthyroidism. The review also highlighted difficulties in implementing this guidance, as majority of the babies did not get investigated as per schedule.
Conclusion In our experience, babies born to mothers with auto-immune hypothyroidism did not develop transient hypothyroidism. There is a need for a larger scale study to look at the possible adverse effects of maternal autoimmune thyroid problems in the newborn.