Fetal Hyperthyroidism with Maternal Hypothyroidism: Two Cases of Intrauterine Therapy

Lu Hong, Mary Hoi Yin Tang, Ka Wang Cheung, Libing Luo, Cindy Ka Yee Cheung, Xiaoying Dai, Yanyan Li, Chuqin Xiong, Wei Liang, Wei Xiang, Liangbing Wang, Kelvin Yuen Kwong Chan, Shengmou Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fetal hyperthyroidism can occur secondary to maternal autoimmune hyperthyroidism. The thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TRAb) transferred from the mother to the fetus stimulates the fetal thyroid and causes fetal thyrotoxicosis. Fetuses with this condition are difficult to detect, especially after maternal Graves disease therapy. Here, we present two cases of fetal hyperthyroidism with maternal hypothyroidism and review the assessment and intrauterine therapy for fetal hyperthyroidism. Both women were referred at 22+ and 23+ weeks of gestation with abnormal ultrasound findings, including fetal heart enlargement, pericardial effusion, and fetal tachycardia. Both women had a history of Graves disease while in a state of hypothyroidism with a high titer of TRAb. A sonographic examination showed a diffusely enlarged fetal thyroid with abundant blood flow. Invasive prenatal testing revealed no significant chromosomal aberration. Low fetal serum TSH and high TRAb levels were detected in the cord blood. Fetal hyperthyroidism was considered, and maternal oral methimazole (MMI) was administered as intrauterine therapy, with the slowing of fetal tachycardia, a reduction in fetal heart enlargement, and thyroid hyperemia. During therapy, maternal thyroid function was monitored, and the dosage of maternal levothyroxine was adjusted accordingly. Both women delivered spontaneously at 36+ weeks of gestation, and neonatal hyperthyroidism was confirmed in both newborns. After methimazole and propranolol drug treatment with levothyroxine for 8 and 12 months, both babies became euthyroid with normal growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • fetal hyperthyroidism
  • intrauterine therapy
  • thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TRAb)


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