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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 1994;30(3):317-23.

[Thyroid autoimmunity and congenital hypothyroidism].

[Article in Italian]

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Istituto di Endocrinologia, Università degli Studi, Pisa.


The involvement of thyroid autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of sporadic congenital hypothyroidism is still incompletely understood. While antithyroglobulin and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies are harmless, the transplacental passage of TSH receptor antibodies with blocking activity from a mother with autoimmune thyroiditis to the fetus is responsible of transient neonatal hypothyroidism in the baby. This is however a rare condition. Thyroid growth blocking antibodies have been described in healthy mothers of children with permanent congenital hypothyroidism due to thyroid dysgenesis, but this observation was not confirmed in other studies including our own. Antibodies producing cell mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), either transferred from the mother or due to an autoimmune thyroiditis developing in utero, might be involved in the pathogenesis of permanent congenital hypothyroidism. However, this hypothesis requires confirmation in more extensive studies.

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