Ultrasonographically determined thyroid size in pregnancy and postpartum: The goitrogenic effect of pregnancy

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Thyroid function and ultrasonographically determined thyroid volume were investigated at regular intervals during pregnancy and the first postpartum year in 20 women without thyroid autoantibodies. Serum total thyroxine and total triiodothyronine levels were increased and free thyroxine index and free triiodothyronine index levels were decreased, whereas serum thyrotropin level was unaltered during pregnancy when compared with postpartum levels. Thyroid volume was increased during pregnancy with a mean variation of 30% between maximum values (24.1 ± 2.2 ml, mean ± SEM, thirty-sixth week of pregnancy) and minimum values (18.4 ± 2.0 ml, 12 months post partum) (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our study demonstrates a goitrogenic effect of pregnancy unexplained by alterations in thyroid function variables. (Ann J OBsTET GYNECOL 1989;160:1216-20.)

      Key words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Ingbar SH
        The thyroid gland..
        in: Wilson JD Foster DW Williams' textbook of endocrinology. WB Saunders, Philadelphia1985: 682-815
        • Mussey RD
        The thyroid gland and pregnancy.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1938; 36: 529-538
        • Prom TE
        Thyroid disease in pregnancy.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1975; 122: 669-676
        • Levy RP
        • Newman DM
        • Rejall LS
        • Barford DAG
        The myth of goiter in pregnancy.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1980; 137: 701-703
        • Long TJ
        • Felice ME
        • Hollingsworth DR
        Goiter in pregnant teenagers..
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985; 152: 670-674
        • Hegedus L
        • Perrild H
        • Poulsen LR
        • et al.
        The determination of thyroid volume by ultrasound and its relationship to body weight, age, and sex in normal subjects.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983; 56: 260-263
        • Hegedus L
        • Karstrup S
        • Rasmussen N
        Evidence of cyclic alterations of thyroid size during the menstrual cycle in healthy women.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986; 155: 142-145
        • Date J
        • Feldt-Rasmussen U
        • Petersen PH
        • Bech K
        An improved co-precipitation assay for determination of thyroglobulin antibodies.
        Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1980; 40: 37-44
        • Weller TH
        • Coons AH
        Fluorescent antibody studies with agent of varicella and herpes propagated in vitro.
        Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1954; 86: 789-794
        • Conover WJ
        Practical nonparametric statistics.2nd ed. Wiley, New York1967: 299-305
        • Hansen JM
        • Skovsted L
        • Siersbxk-Nielsen K
        Age dependent changes in iodine metabolism and thyroid function.
        Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1975; 79: 60-65
        • Crooks J
        • Aboul-Khair SA
        • Turnbull AC
        • Hytten FE
        The incidence of goitre during pregnancy.
        Lancet. 1964; 2: 334-336
        • Crooks J
        • Tulloch MI
        • Turnbull AC
        • Davidsson D
        • Skulason T
        • Snxdal G
        Comparative incidence of goitre in pregnancy in Iceland and Scotland.
        Lancet. 1967; 2: 625-627
        • Caplan RH
        • Wickus G
        Goiter and plasma inorganic iodide concentration in pregnancy: a reassessment.
        JAMA. 1979; 242: 352-353
        • Nelson M
        • Wickus GG
        • Caplan RH
        • Beguin EA
        Thyroid gland size in pregnancy: an ultrasound and clinical study.
        J Reprod Med. 1987; 32: 888-890
        • Burwell CS
        Circulatory adjustments to pregnancy.
        Johns Hopkins Med J. 1954; 59: 115-129
        • Hegedus L
        • Karstrup S
        • Veiergang D
        • Jacobsen B
        • Skovsted L
        • Feldt-Rasmussen U
        High frequency of goitre in cigarette smokers.
        Clin Endocrinol (Oxf ). 1985; 22: 28792
        • Amino N
        • Mori H
        • Iwatani Y
        • et al.
        High prevalence of transient postpartum thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism.
        N Engl J Med. 1982; 306: 849-852
        • Fung HYM
        • Kologlu M
        • Collison K
        • et al.
        Postpartum thyroid dysfunction in Mid Glamorgan.
        Br Med J. 1988; 296: 241-244
        • Harada A
        • Hershman JM
        • Reed AW
        • et al.
        Comparison of thyroid stimulators and thyroid hormone concentration in the sera of pregnant women.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1979; 48: 793-797
        • Yamamoto T
        • Amino N
        • Tanizawa O
        • et al.
        Longitudinal study of serum thyroid hormones, chorionic gonadotropin and thyrotropin during and after normal pregnancy.
        Clin Endocrinol (Oxf ). 1979; 10: 459-468
        • Osathanondh R
        • Tulchinsky D
        • Chopra IJ
        Total and free thyroxine and triiodothyronine in normal and complicated pregnancy.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1975; 42: 98104
        • Franklyn JA
        • Sheppard MC
        • Ramsden DB
        Serum free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine concentrations in pregnancy.
        Br Med J. 1983; 287: 394
        • Hershman JM
        • Lee H-Y
        • Sugawara M
        • et al.
        Human chorionic gonadotropin stimulates iodide uptake, adenylate cyclase, and deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in cultured rat thyroid cells.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988; 67: 74-79
        • Van der Gaag RD
        • Drexhage HA
        • Wiersinga WM
        • et al.
        Further studies on thyroid growth-stimulating immunoglobulins in euthyroid-non-endemic goiter.
        J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1985; 60: 972-979