Timing of thyroid ultrasonography in the etiological investigation of congenital hypothyroidism

<div><p>ABSTRACT Objectives To describe the findings of thyroid ultrasonography (T-US), its contribution to diagnose congenital hypothyroidism (CH) and the best time to perform it. Subjects and methods Forty-four patients with CH were invited to undergo T-US and 41 accepted. Age ranged from 2 months to 45 years; 23 patients were females. All were treated with L-thyroxine; 16 had previously undergone scintigraphy and 30 had previous T-US, which were compared to current ones. Results At the current T-US, the thyroid gland was not visualized in its normal topography in 10 patients (24.5%); 31 T-US showed topic thyroid, 17 with normal or increased volume due to probable dyshormonogenesis, 13 cases of hypoplasia and one case of left-lobe hemiagenesis. One patient had decreased volume due to central hypothyroidism. Scintigraphy scans performed 3-4 years earlier showed 100% agreement with current results. Comparisons with previous T-US showed concordant results regarding thyroid location, but a decrease in current volume was observed in eight due to the use of L-thyroxine, calling the diagnosis of hypoplasia into question. Conclusions The role of T-US goes beyond complementing scintigraphy results. It allows inferring the etiology of CH, but it must be performed in the first months of life. An accurate diagnosis of CH will be attained with molecular study and the T-US can guide this early assessment, without therapy withdrawal.</p></div>