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Thyroid. 2002 Jan;12(1):63-8.

Overt and subclinical hypothyroidism complicating pregnancy.

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División Endocrinología, Hospital C. Durand, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


We studied the evolution of 150 pregnancies corresponding to 114 women (16-39 years old) with primary hypothyroidism. Fifty-one pregnancies (34%) were conceived under hypothyroidism: 16 overt (X +/- standard deviation [SD], thyroxine [T4]: 2.44 +/- 0.7 microg/dL; thyrotropin [TSH]: 33.4 +/- 8.82 mIU/L), and 35 subclinical hypothyroidism (T4: 6.93 +/- 1.88 microg/dL; TSH: 12.87 +/- 8.43 mIU/L); 99 pregnancies were conceived under euthyroidism while undergoing thyroid therapy. When treatment with levothyroxine was inadequate, the outcome of pregnancy was abortion in 60% of overtly hypothyroid patients and in 71.4% of subclinically hypothyroid patients, premature delivery in 20% and 7.2% respectively, and term delivery in 20% and 21.4%, respectively. When treatment was adequate, 100% of overtly hypothyroid patients and 90.5% of subclinically hypothyroid patients carried pregnancies to term; there were no abortions in any of the groups. Abortions, premature and term deliveries in patients who were euthyroid on levothyroxine at the time of conception were 4%, 11.1% and 84.9% respectively. Of the patients receiving levothyroxine therapy before conception, 69.5% had to increase the dose (mean increase 46.2 +/- 29.6 microg/d). Of 126 evaluated newborns, 110 were delivered at term while 16 were premature. Eight newborns, 4 were premature, had congenital malformations (6.3%), and 4 died. Our results show that the evolution of pregnancies did not depend on whether the hypothyroidism was overt or subclinical but mainly on the treatment received. The adequate treatment of hypothyroidism during gestation minimizes risks and generally, makes it possible for pregnancies to be carried to term without complications.

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