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Neonatal hypothyroidism

  • Definition

    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.

    Alternative Names

    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.