Neonatal hypothyroidism is decreased thyroid hormone production in a newborn. In very rare cases, no thyroid hormone is produced.
If the baby was born with the condition, it is called congenital hypothyroidism. If it develops soon after birth, it is referred to as hypothyroidism acquired in the newborn period.
Cretinism; Congenital hypothyroidism; Hypothyroidism - infants
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hypothyroidism in the newborn may be caused by:
- A missing or abnormally developed thyroid gland
- Pituitary gland's failure to stimulate the thyroid
- Defective or abnormal formation of thyroid hormones
Incomplete development of the thyroid is the most common defect and occurs in about 1 out of every 3,000 births. Girls are affected twice as often than boys.
Review Date: 05/12/2009
Reviewed By: Robert Cooper, MD, Endocinology Specialist and Chief of Medicine, Holyoke Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Alan Greene, MD, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.