Postpartum thyroiditis.

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Postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) is a syndrome of transient or permanent thyroid dysfunction occurring in the first year after delivery or abortion. It is the most common thyroid disease in the postpartum period with incidence between 5 and 9%. In essence, it is an autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid, caused by changes in humoral and cell-mediated immune response. It has a characteristic biphasic course with an episode of transient thyrotoxicosis followed by transient or permanent hypothyroidism. Of all predisposing factors positive titers of thyroid peroxidase antibodies have the greatest importance. In some of the affected patients the disease course is marked by expressed hormonal disorders causing significant subjective symptoms. This underlines the need for early identification of risk groups aimed at prophylaxis and adequate treatment of thyroid dysfunction in the postpartum period. The frequency of PPT varies between analyses and studies on risk factors do not establish reliable predictive models for progression of the disease. This is due to the different methodology of research and the involvement of a number of genetic and non-genetic factors in different geographic regions. That is why implementation of mass screening programs is now controversial. The discrepancy in the opinions of researchers makes it necessary to have studies of the problem in performed in every clinical center in which the possible risk specific to the region and the population covered might be defined prognostically. The results of these studies can be used to introduce targeted and cost-effective screening for early detection of risk patients and prevention of morbidity and complications of PPT.

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