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Hypothyroidism in Infants

z Cretinism usually results from a failure in thyroid development

z Other causes include autoimmune disease, severe iodine deficiency, TSH deficiency, and exposure to radioactive iodine in utero

z Therapeutic strategy: requires replacement therapy with thyroid hormones

z If treatment is initiated within a few days of birth, physical and mental development will be normal

z However, if therapy is delayed for several months, some permanent retardation will be evident, although the physical effects of thyroid deficiency will reverse

z Replacement therapy must continue for life

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