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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Apr;92(4):1434-7. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Recombinant thyrotropin in the diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism.

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Division of Endocrinology, Meyer Children's Hospital, POB 6092, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 31096, Israel.



A modern approach to congenital hypothyroidism requires a definitive diagnosis of the underlying mechanisms; this can be achieved within the first weeks of life. When uncertainty persists, treatment is commenced, and the definitive diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism is deferred to the age of 3 yr.


The interruption of thyroid replacement treatment is perceived as risky by parents and physicians. The aim of this pilot study was to test the possibility of a definitive diagnosis during thyroid replacement treatment, using stimulation of thyroid tissue by recombinant human (rh)TSH.


Eight patients, three boys and five girls, age 5-15 yr (mean, 9.5+/-3.7 yr), with congenital hypothyroidism that had been diagnosed by the neonatal screening program, and having their diagnosis verified between the ages of 3-4 yr, were reevaluated while on thyroid replacement therapy.


Patients received im 0.6 mg/m2 rhTSH on two consecutive days.


rhTSH pharmacokinetics, maximal concentration, t1/2, and area under the curve in children were different as compared with adults. In the patients with intact TSH receptors, free T4 levels decreased after the first and the second injection of rhTSH (P=0.0137 and P=0.0149, respectively). All eight children showed identical scintigraphy after rhTSH administration as compared with thyroid replacement withdrawal.


The use of rhTSH is effective for definitive diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism during thyroid replacement treatment, and no safety issues were encountered.

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