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Screening for congenital hypothyroidism: A review of current practices and recommendations for developing countries

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Abstract (2. Language): 
Background: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the commonest endocrine and most treatable cause of mental retardation. Laboratory diagnosis must be made soon after birth, and effective treatment initiated promptly to prevent irreversible brain damage. The advent of neonatal screening programs for congenital hypothyroidism has dramatically improved the prognosis for affected infants. The goal of newborn screening is to detect CH and begin treatment before the infant reaches one month of age. Newborn screening has been practiced for about four decades in most developed countries, while Asian and North African countries commenced implementation in recent years. It is yet to start in many developing countries, particularly in Africa. Method: We searched multiple databases including PubMed and several published national and institutional guidelines to review the various screening methods, both laboratory and clinical; highlighting their strengths and drawbacks. We also described the processes involved and challenges in developing a screening programme.

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