Old term vs new. Cretinism is a term used before testing helped sort out many of the causes of mental retardation that affected infants and children. It was broadly applied to many with profound retardation and developmental delay. Many were found to have congenital hypothyroidism, some Down syndrome or other problems. For many it became jargon for profoundly retarded. The term cretin is rarely used today.
Cause vs Effect. Congenital hypothyroidism means that an infant is born without the ability to make thyroid hormone. Cretinism is the syndrome of physical abnormalities and profound mental retardation that are the result of lack of thyroid hormone. If the hypothyroidism is identified soon after birth, and the infant is treated with thyroid hormone, cretinism will not occur.
See below. Cretinism is the condition that can result from congenital hypothyroidism. Think of it as cause and effect. Congenital hypothyroidism is the cause and cretinism is the effect.
A mater of history. Creatinism is an old term that was used to describe many of the children kept in institutions in great brittan in the late 1800's.It often included children we know now to have had untreated congenital hypothroidism but also included many that had down syndrome. They had a similar physical appearance and major mental and physical delays. Some continue to use the term for untreated, symptomatic kids.
Cretinism.... ..Is a serious disability that hypothyroidism develops into if left untreated.
Related. Cretinism a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, and congenital hypothyroidism is decreased thyroid hormone production in a newborn with or without symptoms.
Yes. Cretinism is an old description of children with growth stunning due to profound hypothyroidism, either congenital or acquired who go untreated. Their physical appearance is quite unique but now seldom encountered due to new born screening and early detection. I myself have not seen a case during my entire fellowship period! It is present in other parts of the world where newborn screen is absent.
Extreme. Being born with hypothyroidism is congenital. Cretinism is profound congenital hypothyroidism. The appearance of a baby with cretinism is more apparent the longer the hypothyroidism is untreated. Dull look, thick tongue, jaundice, low muscle tone, constipation, coarse cry, etc newborn screening prevents this mostly by identifying hypothyroidism within days of birth. Must treat to avoid brain damage.
Yes. Cretinism or cretin was the term years ago to describe infants with the constellation of symptoms expressed in untreated congenital hypothyroidism. The term is a bit archaic, and has a derogatory connotation attached to its use.
Old term. The term cretin is an old term often used as a slang for the mentally defective kids in foundling homes or institutions. It arose at a time before laboratory testing found that many had congenital hypothyroidism. The term furfuraceous cretin was often a subtype ascribed to kids with down syndrome. Present scientific papers and discussions rarely use the term any more.
Underdevelopment... Congenital thyroid dysplasia, poor development of thyroid gland in utero, leads to congenital hypothyroidism.
Genetic & sporadic. Hi. Congenital hypothyroidism left untreated is disastrous for the patient (cretinism). In the US, we screen all neonates for hypothyroidism. The only patient with cretinism I've seen was born in Mexico, where they don't screen neonates; it was tragic. There are known genes that can cause congenital hypothyroidism either in the homozygous recessive state or heterozygous dominant state. Screen!!!