Congenital Hypothyroidism Follow-Up Clinic
Contact: Anne Leavitt,
For appointments call Vicki Frasher at 206-598-1800
Core Function: Clinical Services
The Congenital Hypothyroidism Follow-Up Clinic provides developmental follow-up for children who have been identified through the Washington State Newborn Screening Program and diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism. Children seen in the clinic receive periodic developmental assessments to evaluate developmental progress and the need for intervention services.
Congenital hypothyroidism is a condition of thyroid hormone deficiency present at birth. Approximately one in 4,000 newborn infants has a severe deficiency of thyroid function, while even more have mild or partial degrees of thyroid dysfunction. If untreated for several months after birth, severe congenital hypothyroidism can lead to growth failure and permanent intellectual disability. Treatment consists of a daily dose of thyroid hormone by mouth. Because the treatment is simple, effective, and inexpensive, newborn screening is used to detect and treat congenital hypothyroidism in the first weeks of life.
The Congenital Hypothyroidism Follow-up Clinic opened in 1980 and serves about 60 clients each year. Infants are seen by a developmental pediatrician and a pediatric occupational therapist shortly after their diagnosis at 6-12 months and by pediatrics and psychology at their follow-up visits at ages three, five, and 12 years.