NEWBORN BIOCHEMICAL SCREENING PROGRAM 1 What is Congenital Hypothyroidism What does the

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NEWBORN BIOCHEMICAL SCREENING PROGRAM 1 What is Congenital Hypothyroidism What does the Powered By Docstoc
					What is Congenital Hypothyroidism?                 What does the lab look for?                     What will my baby’s doctor do?

Congenital hypothyroidism is a disorder that       The lab tests the baby’s blood for:             Depending on the results of the lab test,
occurs when a baby’s thyroid gland, which is        1.     Thyroxine (T4)-the hormone made in      your doctor may repeat the testing or refer
located in the neck, does not produce               the thyroid gland. When a newborn has          your baby to a specialist (pediatric
enough thyroxine (T4). Thyroxine is a               hypothyroidism, the T4 level is low (not       endocrinologist). Your doctor and the
hormone (body substance) which is                   enough thyroxine is being made).               specialist will confirm the diagnosis of CH
necessary for normal physical growth and            2.     Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)-      by doing one or more of the following:
mental development.                                 this hormone is produced by the pituitary
                                                    gland in the brain and stimulates the
What causes Congenital                              thyroid gland to produce T4. When the                 Getting information about your baby
                                                    thyroid gland is not producing enough T4,             Examining your baby
                                                    the pituitary gland produces more TSH,                Doing a special test known as a
                                                    signaling the thyroid gland to work harder.            thyroid scan or ultrasound to see
The thyroid gland is unable to produce              If the T4 level is low, the TSH level is               whether the baby has thyroid gland,
enough thyroxine because it has not                 usually high.                                          where it is located, and how well it
developed properly. In some cases, a baby’s                                                                is working.
thyroid gland is absent entirely, so there is no
thyroxine produced. About one of every              Does an abnormal screening test
                                                                                                  How is Congenital Hypothyroidism
4,000 babies is born with congenital                mean that my baby has CH?
hypothyroidism.                                                                                   treated?
                                                    Screening tests always need to be
                                                                                                  If congenital hypothyroidism is found and
How is Congenital Hypothyroidism                    confirmed by additional testing and medical
                                                                                                  treated early, then problems such as mental
found?                                              evaluation.
                                                                                                  retardation and poor growth can be
                                                                                                  prevented. Congenital hypothyroidism is
Shortly after birth, several drops of blood are                                                   treated by giving the baby the thyroxine that
taken from a baby’s heel. The dried blood is                                                      the baby cannot make on its own. Your
sent to the State Department of Health and                                                        baby’s doctor or pediatric endocrinologist will
Senior Services Inborn Errors of Metabolism                                                       prescribe a thyroid medication by mouth that
Laboratory, where it is tested for congenital                                                     only needs to be given once a day. The
hypothyroidism and several other conditions.                                                      earlier treatment is started, the better chance
These test are all part of the State’s Newborn        IF YOU ARE ASKED TO HAVE YOUR BABY          a baby has for reaching his/her full potential.
Screening Program. If there the results are           RE-TESTED, ACT QUICKLY AND FOLLOW           Frequent medical checkups are essential to
not within an acceptable range, the baby’s            YOUR DOCTOR’S ADVICE                        be sure that your child is growing and
doctor and parents are notified.                                                                  developing normally.
Is Congenital Hypothyroidism

In most cases congenital hypothyroidism is
permanent and treatment must be continued
throughout life. Occasionally the condition is
temporary and the child’s supervising doctor
is able to discontinue medication after 2-3

    For more information, please contact:
 The New Jersey Department of Health and         Congenital Hypothyroidism
            Senior Services
Newborn Screening and Genetic Services at
            (609) 292-1582
                     or                            Important Information for
The Inborn Errors of Metabolism Laboratory                 Parents
            at (609) 292-3090

                 March 2005