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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3805370, 5 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3805370
Research Article

Former Very Preterm Infants Show Alterations in Thyroid Function at a Preschool Age

1Pediatrics II (Neonatology), Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2Pediatrics III (Pediatric Cardiology), Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
3Pediatrics I (Pediatric Endocrinology), Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Correspondence should be addressed to Ursula Kiechl-Kohlendorfer

Received 26 February 2017; Revised 7 June 2017; Accepted 19 June 2017; Published 19 July 2017

Academic Editor: Flavia Prodam

Copyright © 2017 Anna Posod et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Preterm birth is frequently associated with altered thyroid hormone levels in the newborn period. Recent data suggest a role of prematurity independent of birth size also in childhood thyroid dysfunction. Whether the high-risk population of former very preterm infants (VPI) is particularly susceptible to thyroid hormone alterations is currently unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess whether former VPI display changes in thyroid hormone status in comparison to term-born controls at a preschool age. Free triiodothyronine (fT3), free thyroxine (fT4), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations were determined in former VPI and same-aged children born at term at five to seven years of age. 31 former term infants and 82 former VPI were included in the study. In comparison to children born at term, former VPI had lower fT4 ( versus  pmol/l), higher fT3 ( versus 6.5 pmol/l), and higher TSH levels ( versus μU/l), independent of major neonatal morbidities. As subclinical changes in thyroid hormone status are potentially associated with adverse health profiles, close follow-up of these children is warranted.