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      Ten-Year Longitudinal Study of Thyroid Function in Children with Down's Syndrome

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          Background/Aims: The natural history of thyroid function in children with Down's syndrome is relatively unknown. We hypothesized that in these patients the occurrence of thyroid dysfunction rises during development. Methods: Thyroid function was assessed yearly in 145 children with Down's syndrome, all followed from birth up to 10 years of age. Heteroskedastic binary and ordinary logistic regression for repeated measures was used to evaluate the relationship of thyroid function with continuous time. Results: Congenital hypothyroidism was detected in 7% of cases. The probability of acquired thyroid dysfunction increased from 30% at birth to 49% at 10 years (p < 0.001). The subclinical hypothyroidism was nearly stable during the follow-up. The probability of hypothyroidism increased from 7 to 24% at 10 years (p < 0.001). Positive anti-thyroglobulin antibodies were associated with higher odds of more severe hypothyroidism (odds ratio 3.6). Positive anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies were a better predictor of more severe hypothyroidism (odds ratio 6.1). Diffuse hypoechogenicity on thyroid ultrasound was found in 34 out of 145 children. Conclusion: The probability of thyroid dysfunction increasing during development is higher than previously reported. Such children should be carefully monitored annually to early identify thyroid dysfunction.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Subclinical thyroid disease: scientific review and guidelines for diagnosis and management.

          Patients with serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels outside the reference range and levels of free thyroxine (FT4) and triiodothyronine (T3) within the reference range are common in clinical practice. The necessity for further evaluation, possible treatment, and the urgency of treatment have not been clearly established. To define subclinical thyroid disease, review its epidemiology, recommend an appropriate evaluation, explore the risks and benefits of treatment and consequences of nontreatment, and determine whether population-based screening is warranted. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Biosis, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Guideline Clearing House, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Controlled Trials Register, and several National Health Services (UK) databases were searched for articles on subclinical thyroid disease published between 1995 and 2002. Articles published before 1995 were recommended by expert consultants. A total of 195 English-language or translated papers were reviewed. Editorials, individual case studies, studies enrolling fewer than 10 patients, and nonsystematic reviews were excluded. Information related to authorship, year of publication, number of subjects, study design, and results were extracted and formed the basis for an evidence report, consisting of tables and summaries of each subject area. The strength of the evidence that untreated subclinical thyroid disease is associated with clinical symptoms and adverse clinical outcomes was assessed and recommendations for clinical practice developed. Data relating the progression of subclinical to overt hypothyroidism were rated as good, but data relating treatment to prevention of progression were inadequate to determine a treatment benefit. Data relating a serum TSH level higher than 10 mIU/L to elevations in serum cholesterol were rated as fair but data relating to benefits of treatment were rated as insufficient. All other associations of symptoms and benefit of treatment were rated as insufficient or absent. Data relating a serum TSH concentration lower than 0.1 mIU/L to the presence of atrial fibrillation and progression to overt hyperthyroidism were rated as good, but no data supported treatment to prevent these outcomes. Data relating restoration of the TSH level to within the reference range with improvements in bone mineral density were rated as fair. Data addressing all other associations of subclinical hyperthyroid disease and adverse clinical outcomes or treatment benefits were rated as insufficient or absent. Subclinical hypothyroid disease in pregnancy is a special case and aggressive case finding and treatment in pregnant women can be justified. Data supporting associations of subclinical thyroid disease with symptoms or adverse clinical outcomes or benefits of treatment are few. The consequences of subclinical thyroid disease (serum TSH 0.1-0.45 mIU/L or 4.5-10.0 mIU/L) are minimal and we recommend against routine treatment of patients with TSH levels in these ranges. There is insufficient evidence to support population-based screening. Aggressive case finding is appropriate in pregnant women, women older than 60 years, and others at high risk for thyroid dysfunction.
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            Hypothyroidism is common, potentially serious, often clinically overlooked, readily diagnosed by laboratory testing, and eminently treatable. The condition is particularly prevalent in older women, in whom autoimmune thyroiditis is common. Other important causes include congenital thyroid disorders, previous thyroid surgery and irradiation, drugs such as lithium carbonate and amiodarone, and pituitary and hypothalamic disorders. Worldwide, dietary iodine deficiency remains an important cause. Hypothyroidism can present with nonspecific constitutional and neuropsychiatric complaints, or with hypercholesterolaemia, hyponatraemia, hyperprolactinaemia, or hyperhomocysteinaemia. Severe untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart failure, psychosis, and coma. Although these manifestations are neither specific nor sensitive, the diagnosis is confirmed or excluded by measurements of serum thyrotropin and free thyroxine. Thyroxine replacement therapy is highly effective and safe, but suboptimal dosing is common in clinical practice. Patient noncompliance, drug interactions, and pregnancy can lead to inadequate treatment. Iatrogenic thyrotoxicosis can cause symptoms, and, even when mild, provoke atrial fibrillation and osteoporosis. We summarise present understanding of the history, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical diagnosis and management of hypothyroidism.
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              Clinical practice

              Down syndrome (DS) is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities. Because of medical advances and improvements in overall medical care, the median survival of individuals with DS has increased considerably. This longer life expectancy requires giving the necessary care to the individual with DS over their total longer lifespan. DS medical guidelines are designed for the optimal care of the child in whom a diagnosis of DS has been confirmed. We present an overview of the most important issues related to children with DS based on the most relevant literature currently available.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                August 2014
                05 July 2014
                : 82
                : 2
                : 113-121
                aDepartment of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the Mother, Children and Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, bClinical Genetics Unit, Obstetric and Pediatric Department, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, cDepartment of Mental Health, AUSL, Modena, dLiver Research Center, Basovizza, Trieste, and International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), University of Milan, Milan, and eInternal Medicine and Therapeutics Department, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
                Author notes
                *Lorenzo Iughetti, MD, PhD, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the Mother, Children and Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via del Pozzo, 71, IT-41124 Modena (Italy), E-Mail iughetti.lorenzo@unimore.it
                362450 Horm Res Paediatr 2014;82:113-121
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, Pages: 9
                Original Paper


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