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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thyroid antibodies in children of mothers with auto-immune thyroid disease.

In a cross-sectional study, 29 children aged between 1 month and 15.3 years (average age 6.8 years) born to mothers with Graves disease or Hashimoto thyroiditis were examined clinically, biochemically, and by sonography of the thyroid gland. At the time of examination all children were clinically euthyroid. Tests of thyroid peroxidase antibody, thyroglobulin antibody, TSH receptor antibody and free thyroxine (fT4) gave normal results. In 3 children subclinical hypothyroidism with elevated TSH and normal fT4 concentrations were found; one of these children had a minor decrease of total thyroxine. Three children with otherwise normal test results had marginally elevated triiodothyronine concentrations. Increased antibody titres were present in 8 out of 29 children. TSH function-blocking antibodies were elevated in 8 cases. In addition, cytotoxic antibodies were found in one of the children. The distribution pattern of antibodies was different in each child and unrelated to the type of maternal thyroid disease. CONCLUSION: Children of mothers with auto-immune thyroid disease often have thyroid antibodies without signs of thyroid disease. Whether antibody-positive children have an increased risk of developing thyroid disorders later in life must be examined in a longitudinal study.[1]


  1. Thyroid antibodies in children of mothers with auto-immune thyroid disease. Heithorn, R., Hauffa, B.P., Reinwein, D. Eur. J. Pediatr. (1999) [Pubmed]
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