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In preterm infants with breathing problems after birth, there is no evidence that thyroid hormone treatment given immediately after delivery reduces the severity of breathing difficulties or improves outcomes. Infants born prematurely are at risk of breathing problems due to lack of surfactant production by the lungs in the first days after birth. In animal research, thyroid hormones given before birth stimulate surfactant production and reduce the incidence and severity of breathing problems. This review found two small trials that compared the use of thyroid hormones to no treatment in infants with breathing problems in the first hours after birth. No benefit was found from use of these hormones on severity of breathing problems or complications that occurred as a result of these breathing problems. The effect on longer term development was not reported.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 24, 2007

A systematic review of the data from randomised controlled trials provides no evidence that routine thyroid hormone therapy is effective in preventing problems in preterm babies or improves their developmental outcomes. Thyroid hormones are needed for the normal growth and maturity of the central nervous system, as well as the heart and lungs. Children born without sufficient thyroid hormones can develop serious mental retardation. It is believed that low levels of thyroid hormones in the first few weeks after birth (transient hyperthyroxinaemia) in preterm babies born before 34 weeks may contribute to this abnormal development. The review of trials found no evidence that using thyroid hormones routinely in preterm babies is effective in reducing the risk of problems caused by transiently low levels of thyroid hormones.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 24, 2007

There is insufficient evidence to advocate the use of triiodothyronine supplementation for the prevention of postoperative morbidity and mortality in infants who undergo cardiopulmonary bypass.Thyroid hormones are integral in cellular metabolism and haemodynamic stability. A transient acquired hypothyroidism occurs after cardiopulmonary bypass and is thought to be associated with low cardiac output, left ventricular dysfunction, increased vascular resistance and impaired ventilatory drives. Thyroid hormone supplementation has been postulated as a possible therapeutic option to improve postoperative outcome measures. This review highlights the lack of evidence concerning the benefits and harms of triiodothyronine supplementation in infants who undergo cardiopulmonary bypass.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 19, 2004

The thyroid is a vitally important hormonal gland, which mainly works for the body’s metabolism. It is located in the front part of the neck below the voice box and is butterfly-shaped. The functions of the thyroid gland include the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine (T4).

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: December 30, 2016

No evidence from trials that thyroid hormone therapy is effective in preventing problems such as respiratory distress syndrome in preterm babies. Thyroid hormones are needed for the normal growth and maturity of the central nervous system, as well as the heart and lungs. Children born without sufficient thyroid hormones can develop serious mental retardation. It is believed that low levels of thyroid hormones in the first few weeks of life (transient hypothyroxinemia) in preterm babies born before 34 weeks may cause this abnormal development. The review of trials found no evidence that using thyroid hormones in preterm babies is effective in reducing the risk of problems caused by insufficient thyroid hormones.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 23, 2001

There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that supplementing the diet of preterm infants with iodine is beneficial. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are important for brain development in newborn infants. Preterm infants often have low levels of iodine and of thyroid hormones in the first few weeks after birth. This may in part be due to a lack of iodine in their diet. We found only one trial that assessed the effect of giving preterm babies extra iodine. This study did not find any evidence that providing extra iodine increased the level of thyroid hormones. The trial did not assess the effect of providing extra iodine on brain development. Further trials are needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 19, 2006

The thyroid is a vitally important hormonal gland that regulates metabolism and growth in the body. The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 increase the basal metabolic rate. In other words, they make the body cells work harder, using more energy. If more energy is needed for metabolic processes in the body – for instance for growth, when it is cold, or during pregnancy – more hormones are produced and transported into the blood.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 7, 2015

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