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Maternal and Neonatal Graves' Disease

Louis J. Elsas, MD; Ruth Whittemore, MD; Gerard N. Burrow, MD
JAMA. 1967;200(3):250-252. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120160116025.
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LONG-ACTING thyroid stimulator (LATS)1 has been found in the serum of five children with neonatal thyrotoxicosis.2-5 The maternal serum was also positive for LATS in these cases, which led to the hypothesis that neonatal thyrotoxicosis was caused by LATS crossing the placenta and reaching the fetal circulation.5 This hypothesis was used to explain the self-limited nature of neonatal thyrotoxicosis which usually resolved spontaneously within 3 to 12 weeks, a course which correlated with the estimated half-life of LATS (six to seven days in neonatal serum).2 Some infants with neonatal thyrotoxicosis have had hepatosplenomegaly,6 congestive heart failure,7 jaundice,8 and thrombocytopenia.9 Although these findings could be due to other causes, they have occurred often enough with neonatal Graves' disease to suggest more than a chance association. The present study is, to our knowledge, the sixth reported case of neonatal thyrotoxicosis associated with LATS in


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