Thyroid function determinants in cord blood of Nigerian neonates

Rebecca M. Gali, Iya E. Bassey, Alphonsus E. Udoh, Chinyere A. O. Usoro, Calvin M. Chama, Uwem O. Akpan


Background: Congenital hypothyroidism is one of the most prevalent endocrine disorders in the newborn; early diagnosis and treatment have resulted in normal growth and development in nearly all cases. Data on congenital hypothyroidism in Nigeria is limited, hence, this study aims at establishing the baseline values and prevalence of congenital hypothyroidism as a prelude to a screening centre in our locality.

Methods: Cord blood samples were consecutively obtained from two hundred and eighty nine neonates born in the Delivery ward of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). 152 (52.8%) of the neonates were males and 137 (47.2%) were females. Nineteen were preterm and 270 were full term. Triiodothyronine (T3), Thyroxine (T4) and Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were analyzed using ELISA kits. Data was analyzed using student “t” test and Pearson correlation coefficient. The difference was considered statistically significant at p < 0.05.

Results: The mean T3, T4 and TSH, in preterm compared with full term neonates were similar (p>0.05). Triiodothyronine (T3) was undetectable in 75.8% of the neonates and very low in 24.2%. Twelve (4.2%) of the neonates had TSH levels >40µIU/ml with a mean TSH of 61.7±14.7 µIU/ml and a mean T4 of 7.7±3.7µg/dl.

Conclusions: About 4.2% of neonates are at risk of congenital hypothyroidism with High TSH and low T4 values, T3 values are undetectable or very low in late prenatal life.


Cord serum, Thyroid hormones, Neonates

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