Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 659–675

The spectrum of thyroid diseases in childhood and its evolution during transition to adulthood: Natural history, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and management

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF03343911

Cite this article as:
Koch, C.A. & Sarlis, N.J. J Endocrinol Invest (2001) 24: 659. doi:10.1007/BF03343911


In this contribution, we review current knowledge on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and differential diagnosis of thyroid disorders in childhood and adolescence, as well as present an update on therapy methods and management guidelines for these disorders. This overview is conceptually divided into two parts, one focusing on thyroid functional disorders, i.e. conditions leading to hyper- and hypothyroidism, and another one pertinent to structural abnormalities of the thyroid gland, i.e. nodular disorders and thyroid cancer. Currently, congenital hypothyroidism is diagnosed in a much more timely fashion rather than in the past, rendering hypothyroidism-related mental retardation and developmental deficits very rare in newborns and children and, hence, diminishing significantly its public health impact. At the same time, considerable advances have occurred in our understanding of the molecular basis of several genetic conditions affecting the thyroid gland in childhood, such as familial non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism, as well as of the pathways leading to thyroid neoplasia.


Adolescence childhood congenital goiter hyperthyroidism hypothyroidism infancy iodine deficiency levothyroxine radioactive iodine thyroid cancer thyroid gland thyroid hormone thyroid nodule thyrotoxicosis thyrotropin 

Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric and Reproductive Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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