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J Ment Defic Res. 1990 Apr;34 ( Pt 2):187-93.

Down's syndrome and thyroid disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Brentry Hospital, Bristol, England.


The thyroid status of 106 adults with Down's syndrome was assessed. Six were previously diagnosed as hypothyroid and were already receiving thyroxine. A further 37 patients showed abnormal thyroid function. Biochemical evidence of hypothyroidism (T4 less than 50 nmol/l and T.S.H. greater than 4 mu/less than) was found in one person. Six patients were found to have an unequivocally elevated T.S.H. but normal T4 (T4 greater than 50 nmol/l and T.S.H. greater than 20 mu/l) and 29 were found to have a modest elevation of T.S.H. but normal T4 concentration (T4 greater than 50 nmol/l and T.S.H. between 4 and 20 mu/l). There was one patient with mild thyrotoxicosis (T4 = 180 nmol/l and T.S.H. less than 0.1 mu/l). Clinical findings were of little use in making a diagnosis of hypothyroidism in this group of patients. A raised level of thyroid microsomal auto-antibodies was found in about a third of the patients, this occurred more commonly in females and slightly more often in those with a raised thyroid stimulating hormone. The importance of this is discussed. Recommendations for regular biochemical screening are made.

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