Assessing Thyroid Function in Pregnancy

Part of the Thyroid Function Testing book series (ENDO, volume 28)


The role of iodine in ensuring normal fetal development has been appreciated for more than 100 years [1]. Cretinism, defined as an infant or child with an IQ of 40 or less, was described in many severely iodine-deficient areas of the world and prevention of this state was achieved by iodine supplementation before or early in gestation [2]. It was not thought that thyroid hormone crossed the placental barrier to enter the developing fetus until the opposite was shown in 1989 [3]. Not only has this physiological fact now been verified, but there is now a wealth of data on the importance of maternal-derived thyroxine (T4) in fetal brain development (Table 11.1).


Thyroid Hormone Thyroid Stimulate Hormone Iodine Deficiency Reference Interval Thyroid Stimulate Hormone Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes SciencesUniversity Hospital of WalesWalesUK

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