Thyroxine-binding globulin deficiencydetected by newborn screening

Scott Mandel, Cheryl Hanna, Bruce Boston, David Sesser, Stephen LaFranchl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We examined the results of the Northwest Regional Screening Program from May 1975 to June 1991 to determine the prevalence of inherited thyroixine-binding globulin (TBG) deficiency and its effect on thyroid hormone concentrations in infants. Serum thyroxine (T4), trliodothyronine resin uptake (T3RU), and thyrotropin values were requested of physicians caring for all infants with a single filter paper T4 level <38.6 nmol/L (3 μg/dl) or a T4 level <3rd percentile on two filter paper tests (at birth and 2 to 6 weeks of age). From 1,367,724 infants screened in five states, TBG deficiency, an X-linked disorder, was identified in 317 infants (285 boys). For the entire screening program the calculated frequency of TBG deficiency was 1:4315 infants (1:2400 for boys). In Oregon, where 95% of infants have two screening tests performed, the calculated frequency was somewhat higher (1:3080 infants; 1712 boys) and is probably more accurate. The mean serum T4 concentration for TBG-deficlent boys was 41.9 nmol/L (3.26 μg/dl); 31% had values <25.7 nmol/L (2.0 μg/dl). The mean serum T4 concentration for TBG-deficient giris was 60.2 nmol/L (4.68 μg/dl), with none <2.0 μg/dl. The mean T3RU value was 0.472 in TBG-deficient boys, and 0.412 in TBG-deficient girls; the T3RU value was >0.55 in 24% of TBG-deficient boys but was >0.55 in only one girl. Free serum T4 levels were normal in all 56 TBG-deficient infants studied, and TBG levels were low in all 20 infants studied. Inherited TBG deficiency is common in boys in the Northwest, with a frequency of 1:1700 and a male/female ratio of 8.9:1. Boys with TBG deficiency have mild, moderate, or severe alterations in total T4 and T3RU values, but severe deficiency is rare in girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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