Maternal Hypothyroidism and Gastroschisis: The Case for Universal Maternal Thyroid Screening and Therapy in Early Pregnancy
Gavin Hughes, Shiliang Liu, Fengyu Zhang, and Claude Hughes
November 16, 2023
Maternal hypothyroidism has long been known to cause adverse effects on fetal and neonatal neurobehavioral development, and thus, thyroid function testing of at-risk pregnant women is commonplace. However, universal thyroid function screening has not been globally implemented primarily due to uncertainty about the embryo-fetal developmental effects of maternal subclinical hypothyroidism. In a recent Canadian population-based research study, hypothyroidism was associated with gastroschisis, a relatively rare but severe defect with midgut prolapse into the amniotic cavity in newborns. Given this new data, the substantial humanistic and financial cost associated with gastroschisis, and the relatively minor cost of thyroid function testing, we argue that the obstetrical standard of care should be updated to include universal screening with thyroid function testing of all women as early in pregnancy as possible.
Gastroschisis, hypothyroidism in pregnancy, thyroid screening in pregnancy
Hughes G, Liu S, Zhang F, Hughes C. Maternal Hypothyroidism and Gastroschisis: The Case for Universal Maternal Thyroid Screening and Therapy in Early Pregnancy. Glob Clin Transl Res. 2023; 5(2): 16-22. DOI:10.36316/gcatr.05.0049.