The aim of this study was to compare the usefulness of ultrasonography and scintigraphy in diagnosing the etiology of primary congenital hypothyroidism (CH).
The newborns that were examined by both thyroid scintigraphy and ultrasonography during CH screening program in Isfahan were included in this study. The ultrasonographic findings were compared with the scintigraphic findings and the sensitivity and specificity of the ultrasonography was determined.
During this study, 102 CH newborns were studied. According to the ultrasonographic results, 61.8%, 26.5%, 2.9% and 8.8% of them had normal thyroid gland, agenesia, ectopia and hypoplasia, respectively, and according to scintigraphic results, 55.9%, 35.3% and 8.8% of them had normal thyroid gland, agenesia and ectopia, respectively. Ultrasound detected sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and positive and negative likelihood ratio were 77%, 92%, 89%, 84%, 9.6 and 0.25, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of ultrasonography compared with thyroid scintigraphy in diagnosis of thyroid gland ectopia was 33% and 100%, respectively.
Though thyroid ultrasonography failed to diagnose 67% of ectopic cases and nonfunctioning thyroid gland, it had the ability to determine the anatomy of thyroid gland. So, considering some limitations of scintigraphy, we concluded that ultrasonography is a relatively appropriate imaging tool for diagnosing CH etiologies, especially in the initial phase of CH screening.