Thyroid Stimulating Hormone values from cord blood in neonates

  • Yalemtsehay Mekonnen
  • Gizachew W. Hawariat
  • Bekele Chamiso
  • Friedhelm Raue


Objectives: To determine thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels from cord blood in neonates and to establish the practice for possible application of congenital hypothyroidism screening in Ethiopia.

Methods: TSH was measured from cord blood of 1207 consecutive new-borns in the maternal wards of St. Paul, Ghandi Memorial and Tikur Anbesa hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. TSH Immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) was used with anti-TSH coated beads and I125 labelled TSH monoclonal antibodies.

Results: Males (89.5%) and females (91.8%) had non detectable and/or less than 10 mIU/l TSH values. From the total of 548 male and 659 female neonates 10.2% males and 8% females had TSH values between 10-20 mIU/l. Only three neonates had raised TSH values, which was greater than 20 mIU/l.

Conclusions: Cord blood is practical and apparently simple to collect. It is applicable for blood spot analysis of congenital defects. It can be put in practice for large scale screening programmes such as congenital hypothyroidism (CH) in the Ethiopia situation where hospital discharges are within 24 hrs of delivery given all the necessary infrastructures in place.

[Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2003;17(2):125-130]

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eISSN: 1021-6790