Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2012 Sep;77(3):471-4
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
Objective: Thyroid hormone, requiring adequate maternal iodine intake, is critical for neurodevelopment in utero. Perchlorate and, less so, thiocyanate decrease uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland by competitively inhibiting the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS). It remains unclear whether environmental perchlorate exposure adversely affects thyroid function in first-trimester pregnant women.
Patients: 134 pregnant women from Athens, Greece, at mean ± SD 10·9 ± 2·3 weeks' gestation.
Measurements: Urinary iodide, perchlorate, and thiocyanate and thyroid function tests were measured.
Results: The median urinary iodide was 120 μg/l. Urinary perchlorate levels were detectable in all women: median (range) 4·1 (0·2-118·5) μg/l. Serum thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPO Ab) were detectable in 16% of women. Using Spearman's rank correlation analyses, there was no correlation between urinary perchlorate concentrations and serum TSH, although inverse correlations were seen between urine perchlorate and free T3 and free T4 values. In univariate analyses, urine thiocyanate was positively correlated with serum TSH, but was not associated with serum free T3 or free T4. Urine perchlorate was positively correlated with gestational age. In multivariate analyses adjusting for urinary iodide concentrations, urine thiocyanate, gestational age, maternal age and TPO Ab titres, urine perchlorate was not a significant predictor of thyroid function.
Conclusions: Low-level perchlorate and thiocyanate exposure is ubiquitous, but, in adjusted analyses, is not associated with alterations in thyroid function tests among mildly iodine-deficient Greek women in the first trimester of pregnancy.