RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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SUFFICIENT IODINE INTAKE IN SCHOOLCHILDREN FROM THE ZAGREB AREA: ASSESSMENT WITH DRIED BLOD SPOT THYROGLOBULIN AS A NEW FUNCTIONAL BIOMARKER FOR IODINE DEFICIENCY.

Acta Clinica Croatica 2015 December
Current methods for assessment of iodine intake in a population comprise measurements of urinary iodine concentration (UIC), thyroid volume by ultrasound (US-Tvol), and newborn TSH. Serum or dried blood spot thyroglobulin (DBS-Tg) is a new promising functional iodine status biomarker in children. In 1996, a new act on universal salt iodination was introduced in Croatia with 25 mg of potassium iodideper kg of salt. In 2002, Croatia finally reached iodine sufficiency. However, in 2009, median UIC in 101 schoolchildren from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, was 288 µg/L, posing to be excessive. The aim of the study was to assess iodine intake in schoolchildren from the Zagreb area and to evaluate the value of DBS-Tg in schoolchildren as a new functional biomarker of iodine deficiency (and iodine excess). The study was part of a large international study in 6- to 12-year-old children supported by UNICEF, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD). According to international study results, the median cut-off Tg < 13 µg/L and/or < 3% Tg values > 40 µg/L indicate iodine sufficiency. The study included 159 schoolchildren (median age 9.1 ± 1.4 years) from Zagreb and a nearby small town of Jastrebarsko with measurements of UIC, US-Tvol, DBS-Tg, T4, TSH and iodine content in salt from households of schoolchildren (KI/kg of salt). Overall median UIC was 205 µg/L (range 1-505 µg/L). Thyroid volumes in schoolchildren measured by US were within the normal range according to reference values. Median DBS-Tg in schoolchildren was 12.1 µg/L with 3% of Tg values > 40 µg/L. High Tg values were in the UIC range < 50 µg/L and > 300 µg/L (U-shaped curve of Tg plotted against UIC). All children were euthyroid with geometric mean TSH 0.7 ± 0.3 mU/L and arithmetic mean T4 62 ± 12.5 nmol/L. The mean KI content per kg of salt was 24.9 ± 3.1 mg/kg (range 19-36 mg/kg). Study results indicated iodine sufficiency in schoolchildren from the Zagreb area. Thyroglobulin proved to be a sensitive indicator of both iodine deficiency and iodine excess in children. Iodine content in salt from households of schoolchildren was in good compliance with the Croatian act (20-30 mg KI/kg of salt).

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