Neonatal screening for congenital hypothyroidism using T4 and TSH measurements from blood-spotted filter paper is a well-established method. However, it has not been used to monitor T4 and TSH concentrations in the follow-up of these children. In 22 treated children with congenital hypothyroidism whom we follow up in our Clinic, T4 and TSH concentrations were concomitantly measured from venous blood and blood-spotted filter paper. There was a significant positive correlation between both T4 and TSH measurements from venous blood versus blood-spotted filter paper (r = 0.7, p = 0.001; r = 0.78, p < 0.05). Filter paper T4 values above 7 µg/dl could exclude hypothyroxinemia in 98% of the specimens. When TSH values were above 10 µU/ml, it was confirmed in 94% of the specimens, and when they were above 20 µU/ml, it was confirmed in 97% of the specimens. Measurements of both filter paper T4 and filter paper TSH did not increase the reliability of the results obtained by examining the two hormones separately. We therefore suggest that filter paper T4 and/or TSH measurements have distinct advantages in monitoring the treatment of children with congenital hypothyroidism. It can be performed in the community, enabling assistance in the follow-up of children in remote areas who are unable to show up for serum tests. The results are obtained quickly and allow improved follow-up by providing useful information such as excluding hypothyroxenemia or suggesting the possibility of noncompliance, and by a psychological effect on parents. However, they cannot replace serum T4 and TSH measurements altogether.

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