Researchers from the Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles pulled medical records for 135 newborns from the optic nerve hypoplasia registry. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were tested in all subjects. In all, 50% of the newborns tested positive for hypothyroid, which meant TSH levels were below normal. Visual acuity in the hypothyroid group was not equal to the control group. Researchers noted that serum TSH levels higher than 30/43 were noted in newborns with improved vision test results.

Children with optic nerve hypoplasia and low TSH tend to be at increased risk for hypothyroid and impaired visual function compared to newborns with TSH levels above 30/43. Early testing may improve treatment outcomes and overall newborn health.

Source: Fink C, Vedin AM, Garcia-Filion P, Ma NS, Geffner ME, Borchert M. Newborn thyroid-stimulating hormone in children with optic nerve hypoplasia: Associations with hypothyroidism and vision. J AAPOS 2012 Oct; 16(5):418-23.