Thyroid Hormone Treatment in Pregnancy: Clinical Trials

During the American Thyroid Association’s (ATA) 80th Annual Meeting September 23-27, 2009, held at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida,

Alex Stagnaro-Green, MD, senior associate dean at the Touro University College of Medicine, will present an update on clinical trials of thyroid hormones during pregnancy. His presentation, September 25 at 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is part of the Arthur Bauman Clinical Symposium.

“Detection and management of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy is important for many reasons,” explains Dr. Stagnaro-Green. “For pregnant women with hypothyroidism there is an increased risk for miscarriage, an increased preterm delivery, and an increased risk for decreased IQ and visual motor defects for their offspring.”

The question of universal screening for thyroid disease during pregnancy has critical public health and fiscal implications.

A randomized trial of thyroid drug therapy for pregnant women suffering from hypothyroidism or hypothyroixinemia is being carried out at The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health of the Human Development’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network. The study’s primary aim is to determine if thyroxine treatment in pregnant women with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothroxinemia is associated with improved intellectual function in children at five years of age. Secondary aims seek to establish if thyroxine treatment for pregnant women affect fetal growth, preterm birth or preeclampsia.

“Newborn follow-ups are scheduled at 12, 24 and 36 months and at ages four and five years,” explains Dr. Stagnaro-Green.

Another clinical trial, the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Screening Study (CATS), is being carried out in Cardiff, Wales, London, England and Turin, Italy. According to Dr. Stagnaro-Green, the purpose of the CATS trial is to determine the impact of thyroid hormone treatment of pregnant women with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroxinemia on the intellectual function of their offspring at age three.

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the lead organization in promoting thyroid health and understanding thyroid biology. The ATA values scientific inquiry, clinical excellence, public service, education, collaboration, and collegiality.

A non-profit medical society founded in 1923, the ATA fulfills its mission through supporting excellence and innovation in research, clinical care, education, and public health. ATA members are physicians and scientists who work to enhance the understanding of thyroid physiology and pathophysiology, improve the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases, and promote the education of physicians, patients, and the public about thyroid disorders. The official journal “Thyroid” of the ATA is published monthly. “Clinical Thyroidology” is published online monthly for the benefit of clinicians and scientists around the world.

Thyroid diseases are among the most common disorders of the endocrine system, affecting almost 13 million Americans alone. The ATA has extensive online information for patients on thyroid disease (in English and Spanish) serving the clinician as a resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the internet. To further benefit patients, the ATA publishes an online journal “Clinical Thyroidology for Patients.” The Alliance for Patient Education was formed in 2002 to offer an exchange of information between the ATA and patient education groups: ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.; the Light of Life Foundation, and the Graves’ Disease Foundation. A public forum is held each year in conjunction with the ATA annual meeting.

The 80th Annual Meeting of the ATA will be in Palm Beach, Florida, from September 23-27, 2009 at The Breakers Hotel. All registration and program information is available at We welcome your participation.

ATA 6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 550, Falls Church, VA 22041 * (703) 998-8890 (Fax) (703) 998-8893

Source:  American Thyroid Association

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