To determine the thyroid profile and the prevalence of gestational thyrotoxicosis among women with emesis during early pregnancy.
A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Kenyatta National Hospital acute gynaecology ward and the ante-natal clinic.
Seventy two women presenting with emesis up to 16 weeks gestation.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
The levels of FT3, FT4, TSH and beta-hCG during the first 16 weeks of gestation. Correlation between the thyroid hormones and beta-hCG as well as the severity of vomiting was also done.
The point prevalence of gestational thyrotoxicosis was 8.3%. There was a significant positive correlation between beta-hCG levels and FT3 and FT4 (P-values < 0.05), and a significant negative correlation between beta-hCG and TSH (P < 0.05). Correlation between the severity of vomiting and the thyroid hormones as well as beta-hCG was not statistically significant. Patients' age ranged from 14-38 years (median 26). Majority of the women studied were at a gestation of 8 to 11 weeks (38.9%). Most patients (84.7%) had one to five episodes of vomiting per day. Peak beta-hCG was at 12-15 weeks gestation.
Thyrotoxicosis does occur among women with emesis in pregnancy in this set-up. Screening for it may be beneficial to such women and also those with high serum beta-hCG levels above the median for the gestational age.