Hyperthyroidism occurs in 1% of neonates born to mothers with active or past Graves' disease (GD). Current guidelines for the management of GD during pregnancy were based on studies conducted with first-generation thyroid-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin (TBII) assays.
This retrospective study was conducted in order to specify the second-generation TBII threshold predictive of fetal and neonatal hyperthyroidism, and to identify other factors that may be helpful in predicting neonatal hyperthyroidism.
We included 47 neonates born in the Lyon area to 42 mothers harboring measurable levels of TBII during pregnancy. TBII measurements were carried out in all mothers; bioassays were carried out in 20 cases.
Nine neonates were born with hyperthyroidism, including five with severe hyperthyroidism requiring treatment. Three neonates were born with hypothyroidism. All hyperthyroid neonates were born to mothers with TBII levels >5 IU/l in the second trimester (sensitivity, 100% and specificity, 43%). No mother with TSH receptor-stimulating antibodies (TSAb measured by bioassay) below 400% gave birth to a hyperthyroid neonate. Among mothers of hyperthyroid neonates, who required antithyroid drugs during pregnancy, none could stop treatment before delivery. Analysis of TBII evolution showed six unexpected cases of increasing TBII values during pregnancy.
Maternal TBII value over 5 IU/l indicates a risk of neonatal hyperthyroidism. Among these mothers, a TSAb measurement contributes to identify more specifically those who require a close fetal thyroid ultrasound follow-up. These results should be confirmed in a larger series.