Thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy
Khalid A El Baba1, Sami T Azar2
1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Bahrain Specialist Hospital, Manama, Bahrain; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, American University of Beirut-Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Abstract: Timely treatment of thyroid disease during pregnancy is important in preventing adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Thyroid abnormalities are very often subclinical in nature and not easily recognized without specific screening programs. Even mild maternal thyroid hormone deficiency may lead to neurodevelopment complications in the fetus. The main diagnostic indicator of thyroid disease is the measurement of serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine levels. Availability of gestation-age-specific thyroid-stimulating hormone thresholds is an important aid in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunction. Pregnancy-specific free thyroxine thresholds not presently available are also required. Large-scale intervention trials are urgently needed to assess the efficacy of preconception or early pregnancy screening for thyroid disorders. Accurate interpretation of both antepartum and postpartum levels of thyroid hormones is important in preventing pregnancy-related complication secondary to thyroid dysfunction. This article sheds light on the best ways of management of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy in order to prevent any possible maternal or fetal complication.
Keywords: TSH, HCG, TBG
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