Recent clinical practice guidelines on thyroid dysfunction and pregnancy have changed health care provided to pregnant women, although their recommendations are under constant revision. Trimester- and area-specific reference ranges for serum thyroid-stimulating hormone are required for proper diagnosis of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. There is no doubt on the need of therapy for overt hypothyroidism, while therapy for subclinical hypothyroidism is controversial. Further research is needed to settle adverse effects of isolated hypothyroxinemia and thyroid autoimmunity. Differentiation between hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease and the usually self-limited gestational transient thyrotoxicosis is critical. It is also important to recognize risk factors for postpartum thyroiditis. Supplementation with iodine is recommended to maintain adequate iodine nutrition during pregnancy and avoid serious consequences in offspring. Controversy remains about universal screening for thyroid disease during pregnancy or case-finding in high-risk women. Opinions of some scientific societies and recent cost-benefit studies favour universal screening. Randomized controlled studies currently under development should reduce the uncertainties that still remain in this area.
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