Mental retardation and physical problems caused by hypothyroidism from birth which was not treated soon enough with thyroid hormone replacements. The U.S. tests all infants at birth for hypothyroidism to prevent cretinism.
Deficiency of thyroid hormone secretion during fetal development or early infancy. In children over age 2, it results from chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. Characterized by breathing difficulties, jaundice and hoarse crying in infants and stunted growth and mental deficiency in children. See Thyroiditis; jaundice. Without treatment, irreversible mental retardation occurs.
an irreversible syndrome caused by severe iodine deficiency during gestation and early postnatal growth. Cretinism is characterized by mental deficiency, spastic diplegia or quadriplegia, deaf mutism, dysarthria, a characteristic shuffling gait, shortened stature, and hypothyroidism.