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Initial evaluation of congenital hypothyroidism: a survey of general paediatricians in East Anglia
  1. S F Ahmed,
  2. N D Barnes,
  3. I A Hughes
  1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge Clinical School, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Box 116, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ
  1. Dr Ahmed.


The practice of general paediatricians in the initial evaluation of congenital hypothyroidism (CHT) was assessed. This was performed by a questionnaire survey of paediatricians in East Anglia of whom 84% responded. Nineteen of 25 clinicians based in seven district hospitals managed children with CHT. The median number of children in the care of each clinician was 4 (range 1–17) and the median number of children attending each hospital was 12 (range 5–23). All except one clinician arranged to confirm the diagnosis with a serum thyroid stimulating hormone concentration and free or total thyroxine. There was variation of opinion on the value of serum triiodothyronine and free triiodothyronine measurements, antibody screening, knee radiographs, and thyroid isotope scans. One clinician sought advice when notified of new children and two expressed the need for an investigation protocol. These findings indicate that most general paediatricians in East Anglia manage only a few children with CHT; the initial diagnosis is appropriately confirmed but they are uncertain about the value of other investigations.

  • hypothyroidism
  • investigation
  • screening

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