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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 23, 2022

The effects of topical iodine containing antiseptics on thyroidal status and early neurodevelopment of preterm infants

  • Xiaofan Jiang , Tianxiao Li , Ruijin Xie , Huiya Mei , Renjuan Sun , Yuxiu Xi EMAIL logo , Xiaoyu Chen , Ying Cui , Jinling Zhao and Yueying Liu ORCID logo EMAIL logo



The goal of this study was to determine the quality of these disinfectants’ effects on thyroid function and neurological scores in premature newborns aged 28 to 36 gestational weeks (GW).


This cohort study was conducted from October 2020 to September 2021 among 28–36 GW preterm infants at the neonatal care unit of Jiangnan University Hospital. We divided this 12 month period into two consecutive 6 month periods. Composite iodine disinfectants and alcohol are used for skin and umbilical cord disinfection of preterm infants, respectively. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC), thyroid hormone levels, and neonatal behavioral and neurological assessment (NBNA) scores were determined in both groups.


A total of 126 patients were included in the study, 65 in the iodine exposed group and 61 in the alcohol group. The second UIC and the incidence of serum T4≤5 μg/dL and TSH≥10 mIU/L in the iodine exposed group were significantly higher than those in the alcohol group (p<0.05). The first NBNA score was lower in the iodine exposed group than in the alcohol group (p<0.05). However, whether it has clinical significance remains to be explored. There was a linear relationship between the two NBNA scores (iodine exposure group, R2=0.344; alcohol group, R2=0.227). No sepsis or other adverse outcomes occurred in the two groups of preterm infants after disinfection with different disinfectants.


Iodine-containing disinfectants seem to have the potential to cause an increased rate of thyroid dysfunction and a decreased neurological score and should be evaluated in further studies.

Corresponding authors: Yueying Liu and Yuxiu Xi, The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, 1000 Hefeng Road 214000, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, P.R. China, Phone: +86 18921131889 (Y. Liu), +86 18861530502 (Y. Xi), E-mail: (Y. Liu), E-mail: (Y. Xi)
Xiaofan Jiang and Tianxiao Li contributed equally to this work.

Funding source: Program First "Double Hundred" Top Talent of Wuxi Medical and Health System

Award Identifier / Grant number: BJ2020042

  1. Research funding: This work was funded by Wuxi Health Commission under the project Program First “Double Hundred” Top Talent of Wuxi Medical and Health System (BJ2020042).

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission. Tianxiao Li and Xiaofan Jiang contributed equally to the article.

  3. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Ethics Review Committee of the affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University.


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Received: 2022-01-11
Accepted: 2022-05-02
Published Online: 2022-05-23
Published in Print: 2022-07-26

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