Fetal sinus bradycardia is associated with congenital hypothyroidism: An infant with ectopic thyroid tissue

Aya Nakanomori, Nobuhiko Nagano, Ayako Seimiya, Aya Okahashi, Ichiro Morioka

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothyroidism is rarely included in the differential diagnosis for fetal sinus bradycardia. We report an infant with congenital hypothyroidism caused by ectopic thyroid tissue, who showed antenatal bradycardia. The baseline fetal heart rate was 100-110 bpm at 30 weeks of gestation, and fetal echocardiography revealed sinus bradycardia but no cardiac anomalies. Maternal thyroid function was normal (thyroidstimulating hormone [TSH] 2.03 µ IU/ml, free T3 2.65 pg/ml, and free T4 0.99 ng/dl) when measured at 31 weeks of gestation. Her serum anti SS-A and SS-B antibodies, anti-thyroglobulin, and microsomal antibodies were negative. A male infant without cardiac anomalies was delivered at 35 weeks and 4 days of gestation and admitted for prematurity and respiratory distress syndrome. The infant’s heart rate was 70-110 bpm (normal: 120-160 bpm) on admission. On 8 days of age, thyroid function tests revealed that the infant had severe hypothyroidism (TSH 903.3 µ IU/ml, free T3 1.05 pg/ml, and free T4 0.26 ng/dl). The prolonged jaundice assumed to be due to hypothyroidism. Oral levothyroxine sodium hydrate (10 µ g/kg/ day) was immediately started on day 8. After the treatment, the heart rate was gradually increased to 130-140 bpm as the infant’s thyroid function was improved (TSH 79.8 µ IU/ml, free T3 2.95 pg/dl, and free T4 1.66 ng/dl on day 22). The infant was diagnosed ectopic thyroid tissue because of the high thyroglobulin level (85.9 µ g/l). In conclusion, congenital hypothyroidism should be included in the differential diagnosis in cases of fetal bradycardia without cardiac anomalies or maternal autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • Ectopic thyroid tissufree
  • Fetal bradycardia
  • Levothyroxine sodium hydrate
  • Maternal autoimmune disease


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