Newborn screening program for congenital hypothyroidism (CH) adopting rescreening in at-risk neonates. Objectives: To estimate the concordance rate for CH in twin pairs discordant at the first screening; to verify whether long-term follow-up of healthy cotwins belonging to CH discordant pairs may be useful to diagnose thyroid hypofunction during development; to evaluate the importance of genetic and environmental influences on liability to permanent and transient CH. Design and Patients: Forty-seven screening discordant twin pairs were investigated. Proband was defined as the twin in the pair with a positive test at the first screening and a confirmed diagnosis of CH. Results: Seven screening discordant twin pairs became concordant for CH within the first month of life (pairwise concordance of 14.9%) because seven screening negative cotwins showed high TSH values when retested. During long-term follow-up (range, 3 to 21 years), hypothyroidism was diagnosed in two monozygotic screening negative cotwins at the age of 9 months and 12 years, respectively. Furthermore, the twin analysis showed that 95% of liability to transient CH was explained by genetic factors and 5% by environmental (unshared) factors, whereas 64% of phenotypic variance of permanent CH was explained by common environmental factors (shared during the fetal life) and 36% by unshared environmental factors. Conclusions: This study showed that the introduction of rescreening permits the diagnosis of CH in a greater number of twins. It also showed the importance of long-term follow-up in both twins in the pair, and the role of nongenetic factors in the etiology of permanent CH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical