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Catherine Peters and Nadia Schoenmakers

Transient congenital hypothyroidism (TCH) refers to congenital hypothyroidism which spontaneously resolves in the first few months or years of life. Currently, there is a paucity of reliable markers predicting TCH at diagnosis, and the diagnosis is established following withdrawal of levothyroxine therapy around 3 years of age. The incidence of TCH is increasing, and it is a major contributor to the overall increase in incidence of CH in recent studies. Both genetic factors, in particular mutations affecting DUOX2 and DUOXA2, and environmental factors, e.g iodine deficiency and excess, anti- TSHR antibodies and exposure to anti-thyroid or iodine-rich medications may cause TCH. Resolution of TCH in childhood may reflect both normal thyroid physiology (decreased thyroid hormone biosynthesis requirements after the neonatal period) and clearance or cessation of environmental precipitants. The relative contributions and interactions of genetic and environmental factors to TCH, and the extent to which TCH may be prevented, require evaluation in future population-based studies.

Free access

T Meissner, U Wendel, P Burgard, S Schaetzle, and E Mayatepek

BACKGROUND: The term congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) comprises a group of different genetic disorders with the common finding of recurrent episodes of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, treatment and long-term follow-up in a large cohort of CHI patients. PATIENTS: The data from 114 patients from different hospitals were obtained by a detailed questionnaire. Patients presented neonatally (65%), during infancy (28%) or during childhood (7%). RESULTS: In 20 of 74 (27%) patients with neonatal onset birth weight was greatly increased (group with standard deviation scores (SDS) >2.0) with a mean SDS of 3.2. Twenty-nine percent of neonatal-onset vs 69% of infancy/childhood-onset patients responded to diazoxide and diet or to a carbohydrate-enriched diet alone. Therefore, we observed a high rate of pancreatic surgery performed in the neonatal-onset group (70%) compared with the infancy/childhood-onset group (28%). Partial (3%), subtotal (37%) or near total (15%) pancreatectomy was performed. After pancreatic surgery there appeared a high risk of persistent hypoglycemia (40%). Immediately post-surgery or with a latency of several Years insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was observed in operated patients (27%). General outcome was poor with a high degree of psychomotor or mental retardation (44%) or epilepsy (25%). An unfavorable outcome correlated with infancy-onset manifestation (chi(2)=6.1, P=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The high degree of developmental delay, in particular in infancy-onset patients emphasizes the need for a change in treatment strategies to improve the unfavorable outcome. Evaluation of treatment alternatives should take the high risk of developing diabetes mellitus into account.

Free access

Juliane Léger

Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the most common congenital endocrine disorder. The early treatment of CH patients has successfully improved the prognosis and management of this disorder. Optimal treatment and management throughout the patient's life, beginning in the neonatal period, are required to ensure long-term health. Affected patients should be offered assessments of associated medical conditions and provided with accurate information about their condition throughout their lives, but particularly during the transition from pediatric to adult services. This review provides a summary of current knowledge about the long-term outcomes of these patients and appropriate management into early adulthood. We carried out a systematic search of the Medline database to identify relevant articles. Despite major improvements in prognosis, the impact of CH is clearly not uniform, and management should take into account a broader range of relevant indicators, including CH severity, associated comorbid conditions and the adequacy of treatment during childhood and adulthood. The early diagnosis and management of associated medical conditions, and better educational strategies to improve compliance with treatment, should improve the long-term prognosis. Further studies are required to explore changes with aging.

Free access

Helton Estrela Ramos, Melina Morandini, Aurore Carré, Elodie Tron, Corinne Floch, Laurent Mandelbrot, Nathalie Neri, Benoit De Sarcus, Albane Simon, Jean Paul Bonnefont, Jeanne Amiel, Isabelle Desguerre, Vassili Valayannopoulos, Mireille Castanet, and Michel Polak

Context

Monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8 or SLC16A2) mutations cause X-linked Allan–Herndon–Dudley syndrome. Heterozygous females are usually asymptomatic, but pregnancy may modify thyroid function and MCT8 is expressed in the placenta, suggesting that maternal and fetal abnormalities might develop even in the absence of MCT8 fetal mutation. Genetic counseling is so far based on X-linked transmission, and prenatal diagnosis is rarely performed.

Objective

To describe thyroid function and the prenatal diagnosis in pregnant mothers harboring heterozygous MCT8 mutations and management of the persistent maternal hypothyroxinemia.

Patients

Two women heterozygous for MCT8 mutations (c.1690G>A and c.1393-1G>C) were monitored throughout pregnancy.

Methods

Prenatal diagnosis included sex determination, direct MCT8 sequencing, and familial linkage analysis. Ultrasonography and hormonal assays for maternal thyroid function evaluation were performed serially during pregnancy. Neonatal thyroid hormonal status was assessed.

Results

None of the three fetuses (two males and one female) carried MCT8 mutations. One of the two heterozygous mothers revealed gestational hypothyroxinemia, prompting early levothyroxine (l-T4) therapy until delivery. The second heterozygous mother showed normal thyroid function but was preventively traited by l-T4 and all of the three neonates had normal thyroid hormone levels and thyroid gland at birth, suggesting advantages of prenatal care and/or compensatory mechanisms.

Conclusion

Heterozygous MCT8 women should be monitored for requirement of l-T4 therapy to prevent fetal and neonatal hypothyroidism and to avoid risk of potential cognitive delay due to gestational hypothyroxinemia. Moreover, when the disease-causing mutation is known and/or the first child is affected, prenatal diagnosis for male fetuses should be assessed early for MCT8 mutations by direct sequencing.

Free access

Anna G Angelousi, Drosos E Karageorgopoulos, Anastasios M Kapaskelis, and Matthew E Falagas

Abstract

Introduction

The severity of critical illness is associated with various patterns of thyroid hormone abnormalities. We sought to evaluate whether the outcome of patients with, specifically, sepsis or septic shock is associated with the thyroid function tests evaluated at diagnosis or admission in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods

We performed a systematic review of relevant studies by searching PubMed.

Results

We included nine studies that all had a prospective cohort design. Seven involved children or neonates, and two involved adults. Mortality was the outcome evaluated in eight studies, while the length of ICU stay was evaluated in the remaining study. In univariate analysis, six of the nine included studies showed that either, free or total, triiodothyronine or thyroxine was lower in the group of patients with sepsis or septic shock who had unfavorable outcome than in those who had favorable outcome. Two other studies showed higher TSH values in the group of patients with unfavorable outcome. No significant relevant findings were observed in the remaining study. Regarding the correlation of sepsis prognostic scoring systems with thyroid function tests, the three studies that provided specific relevant data showed variable findings.

Discussion

Most of the relevant studies identified favor the concept that decreased thyroid function at baseline might be associated with a worse outcome of patients with sepsis or septic shock. Although these findings are not consistent, the role of thyroid function in affecting or merely predicting the outcome of sepsis or septic shock merits further investigation.

Free access

Felix G Riepe, Wiebke Ahrens, Nils Krone, Regina Fölster-Holst, Jochen Brasch, Wolfgang G Sippell, Olaf Hiort, and Carl-Joachim Partsch

Objective: To clarify the molecular defect for the clinical finding of congenital hypothyroidism combined with the manifestation of calcinosis cutis in infancy.

Case report: The male patient presented with moderately elevated blood thyrotropin levels at neonatal screening combined with slightly decreased plasma thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine concentrations, necessitating thyroid hormone substitution 2 weeks after birth. At the age of 7 months calcinosis cutis was seen and the patient underwent further investigation. Typical features of Albright’s hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO), including round face, obesity and delayed psychomotor development, were found.

Methods and results: Laboratory investigation revealed a resistance to parathyroid hormone (PTH) with highly elevated PTH levels and a reduction in adenylyl cyclase-stimulating protein (Gsα) activity leading to the diagnosis of pseudohypoparathyroidism type Ia (PHP Ia). A novel heterozygous mutation (c364T > G in exon 5, leading to the amino acid substitution Ile-106 → Ser) was detected in the GNAS gene of the patient. This mutation was not found in the patient’s parents, both of whom showed normal Gsα protein activity in erythrocytes and no features of AHO. A de novo mutation is therefore likely.

Conclusions: Subcutaneous calcifications in infancy should prompt the clinician to a thorough search for an underlying disease. The possibility of AHO and PHP Ia should be considered in children with hypothyroidism and calcinosis cutis. Systematic reviews regarding the frequency of calcinosis in AHO are warranted.

Free access

P Dimitri, J T Warner, J A L Minton, A M Patch, S Ellard, A T Hattersley, S Barr, D Hawkes, J K Wales, and J W Gregory

Introduction

Mutations in the GLI-similar 3 (GLIS3) gene encoding the transcription factor GLIS3 are a rare cause of neonatal diabetes and congenital hypothyroidism with six affected cases from three families reported to date. Additional features, described previously, include congenital glaucoma, hepatic fibrosis, polycystic kidneys, developmental delay and facial dysmorphism.

Subjects

We report two new cases from unrelated families with distinct novel homozygous partial GLIS3 deletions. Both patients presented with neonatal diabetes mellitus, severe resistant hypothyroidism in the presence of elevated thyroglobulin and normal thyroid anatomy, degenerative liver disease, cystic renal dysplasia, recurrent infections and facial dysmorphism. These novel mutations have also resulted in osteopenia, bilateral sensorineural deafness and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, features that have not previously been associated with GLIS3 mutations. Gene dosage analysis showed that the parents were carriers of a deletion encompassing exons 1–2 (case 1) or exons 1–4 (case 2) of the 11 exon gene. Genome-wide SNP analysis did not reveal a common ancestral GLIS3 haplotype in patient 2.

Conclusions

Our results confirm partial gene deletions as the most common type of GLIS3 mutations, accounting for four of five families identified to date. We propose that mutations in GLIS3 lead to a wider clinical phenotype than previously recognised. We also report the first case of a recessive GLIS3 mutation causing neonatal diabetes and congenital hypothyroidism in a child from a non-consanguineous pedigree, highlighting the importance of molecular genetic testing in any patient with this phenotype.

Free access

M Salerno, R Militerni, S Di Maio, C Bravaccio, N Gasparini, and A Tenore

BACKGROUND: The intellectual outcome in children with congenital hypothyroidism detected by neonatal screening is generally good; however, subtle neurological dysfunctions, subnormal IQ, or both, have been reported. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the intellectual outcome in 12-year-old patients with congenital hypothyroidism, detected by neonatal screening, in an attempt to identify factors that may affect intellectual development. METHODS: The intelligence quotient (IQ) of 40 children with congenital hypothyroidism was evaluated at 12 years of age, using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -- Revised, and compared with the IQ of 40 healthy siblings (control group). RESULTS: The mean IQ score (88.4+/-13.1) was not significantly different from that of the control group (93.4+/-10.7). Thirteen patients showed subnormal IQ score (72.4+/-4.9) compared with their siblings (86.7+/-9.6; P<0.0001) and with the other patients (96.1+/-9.6; P<0.0001). The low IQ score was associated with lower serum concentrations of thyroxine at diagnosis, poor treatment compliance during follow-up and lower familial IQ. Interviews with parents of children with congenital hypothyroidism revealed that a refusal to acknowledge the disease was linked to poor attention to the child's emotional life and to poor treatment compliance in some cases (11%). CONCLUSION: Even though the mean IQ score in patients with congenital hypothyroidism falls within normal for the control population, low IQ scores may be present in patients with severe hypothyroidism, inadequate compliance to replacement therapy during follow-up and poor parental pedagogic attitude.

Free access

Margaret Cristina da Silva Boguszewski and Adriane de Andre Cardoso-Demartini

Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm across the world every year, with less than 37 completed weeks of gestation. Survival rates increased during the last decades with the improvement of neonatal care. With premature birth, babies are deprived of the intense intrauterine growth phase, and postnatal growth failure might occur. Some children born prematurely will remain short at later ages and adult life. The risk of short stature increases if the child is also born small for gestational age. In this review, the effects of being born preterm on childhood growth and adult height and the hormonal abnormalities possibly associated with growth restriction are discussed, followed by a review of current information on growth hormone treatment for those who remain with short stature during infancy and childhood.

Free access

H Schmidt and HP Schwarz

OBJECTIVE: A sex difference in fetal and neonatal pituitary-gonadal function has been well documented. The aim of the following study was to determine sex differences and patterns of basal LH/FSH in the neonatal period. DESIGN: Peripheral venous blood was obtained from 164 healthy full term newborns (91 males, 73 females) for clinically indicated laboratory examinations. RESULTS: In male newborns, LH values were initially low (days 1-5), increased between days 6 and 10, and reached maximum levels between days 16 and 20. Levels of FSH were initially low (days 1-5), increased between days 6 and 10 and reached maximum levels between days 11 and 15. In female newborns, LH levels were generally lower than in newborn boys; levels were initially low, then increased between days 11 and 15 and reached maximum levels at the end of the newborn period. FSH values were generally higher than in newborn boys; there were initially low values with a first peak between days 11 and 15 and a second peak between days 21 and 28. CONCLUSIONS: LH values in male newborns were higher and exceeded values in female newborns, whereas FSH values in female newborns exceeded male newborn values. Male newborns do not exhibit any peaks of LH and FSH activity, whereas female newborns exhibit two FSH peaks during this period.