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International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7020021

Abstract:
Japanese newborn screening (NBS) for phenylketonuria (PKU) was initiated in 1977. We surveyed the neurological outcomes of Japanese adult patients with PKU to investigate the long-term effects and of and issues with NBS. Eighty-five patients with PKU aged over 19 years who continued to be treated with a phenylalanine-free amino acid formula were investigated by administering questionnaires regarding clinical characteristics, such as mental ability, education status, and therapeutic condition. Of the 85 subjects, 68 patients were detected by NBS (NBS group), while the other 17 were clinically diagnosed before the initiation of NBS (pre-NBS group). Further, 10 of the 68 NBS patients presented intellectual and/or psychiatric disabilities, 5 of whom had a history of treatment discontinuation; in contrast, 12 of the 17 pre-NBS patients presented with neuropsychiatric symptoms. Regarding social outcomes, almost all patients in the NBS group could live an independent life, while over half of the patients in the pre-NBS group were not employed or lived in nursing-care facilities. Neurological outcomes are obviously improved by NBS in Japan. However, some patients, even those detected by NBS, developed neuropsychiatric symptoms due to treatment disruption. Lifelong and strict management is essential to maintain good neurological and social prognoses for patients with PKU.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010020

Abstract:
Prior to statewide newborn screening (NBS) for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in North Carolina, U.S.A., we offered voluntary screening through the Early Check (EC) research study. Here, we describe the EC experience from October 2018 through December 2020. We enrolled a total of 12,065 newborns and identified one newborn with 0 copies of SMN1 and two copies of SMN2, consistent with severe early onset of SMA. We also detected one false positive result, likely stemming from an unrelated blood disorder associated with a low white blood cell count. We evaluated the timing of NBS for babies enrolled prenatally (n = 932) and postnatally (n = 11,133) and reasons for delays in screening and reporting. Although prenatal enrollment led to faster return of results (median = 13 days after birth), results for babies enrolled postnatally were still available within a timeframe (median = 21 days after birth) that allowed the opportunity to receive essential treatment early in life. We evaluated an SMA q-PCR screening method at two separate time points, confirming the robustness of the assay. The pilot project provided important information about SMA screening in anticipation of forthcoming statewide expansion as part of regular NBS.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010019

Abstract:
Prior to the introduction of newborn screening, Phenylketonuria (PKU) was a devastating disorder with affected individuals usually committed to a life in care in large institutions (asylums). Newborn screening only began after it was shown that those with PKU could be treated with a modified diet and could subsequently lead normal lives. The first production of a diet and the demonstration of its effectiveness was thus a key milestone in the history of both PKU and newborn screening, and took place in Birmingham, UK, in 1951. The pioneers were a two-year-old girl called Sheila Jones, her mother Mary, and three dedicated professionals at Birmingham Children’s Hospital: Evelyn Hickmans, John Gerrard and Horst Bickel. Together, they changed the course of PKU for those across the world. This review summarises the history and achievements of this team who opened the door to PKU treatment and the introduction of newborn screening.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010018

Abstract:
The Quebec Neonatal Urine Screening Program was initiated in 1971 with overall screening inception of newborns in 1973. Forty-seven years later, over 3.5 million babies have been screened for up to 25 inborn errors of metabolism divided into two groups: (1) urea cycle disorders and organic acidurias; and (2) disorders of amino acid metabolism and transport. The main goal of this preventive genetic medicine program is the detection of treatable diseases before the onset of clinical symptoms. Urine specimens from 21-day-old babies are collected and dried on filter paper by parents at home. The participation is voluntary with a high compliance rate over the years (~90%). Specimens are analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC). The main objective of this evaluative research project was to assess the feasibility of a technological upgrade towards mass spectrometry. A 2.85-min flow injection method was devised, normal values established, and abnormal profiles confirmed using second-tier tests. The validated assays are sensitive, specific, and suitable for populational screening, as well as for high-risk screening laboratories. Triple H syndrome, which would not be detected in newborns by blood screening at two days of age was found to be positive in the urine of an affected patient.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010017

Abstract:
Phenylketonuria (PKU) and hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA), both identified in newborn screening, are attributable to variants in PAH. Reportedly, the p.R53H(c.158G>A) variant is common in patients with HPA in East Asia. Here, we aimed to define the association between p.R53H and HPA phenotype, and study the long-term outcome of patients with HPA carrying p.R53H. We retrospectively reviewed the genotype in 370 patients detected by newborn screening, and identified the phenotype in 280 (117, HPA; 163, PKU). p.R413P(c.1238G>C) was the most frequently found (n = 117, 31.6%) variant, followed by p.R53H (n = 89, 24.1%). The odds ratio for heterozygous p.R53H to cause HPA was 48.3 (95% CI 19.410–120.004). Furthermore, we assessed the non-linear association between the phenylalanine (Phe) value and elapsed time using the follow-up data of the blood Phe levels of 73 patients with HPA carrying p.R53H. The predicted levels peaked at 161.9 μmol (95% CI 152.088–172.343) at 50–60 months of age and did not exceed 360 μmol/L during the 210-month long observation period. The findings suggest that patients with HPA, carrying p.R53H, do not need frequent Phe monitoring as against those with PKU. Our study provides convincing evidence to determine clinical management of patients detected through newborn screening in Japan.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010016

Abstract:
Since our inaugural issue in 2015, the International Journal of Neonatal Screening (IJNS) has solidified its position as the preferred platform to publish the scientific output of the members of the International Society of Neonatal screening (ISNS) and professionals in fields related to neonatal screening
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010015

Abstract:
Neonatal screening (NBS) was initiated in Europe during the 1960s with the screening for phenylketonuria. The panel of screened disorders (“conditions”) then gradually expanded, with a boost in the late 1990s with the introduction of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), making it possible to screen for 40–50 conditions using a single blood spot. The most recent additions to screening programmes (screening for cystic fibrosis, severe combined immunodeficiency and spinal muscular atrophy) were assisted by or realised through the introduction of molecular technologies. For this survey, we collected data from 51 European countries. We report the developments between 2010 and 2020 and highlight the achievements reached with the progress made in this period. We also identify areas where further progress can be made, mainly by exchanging knowledge and learning from experiences in neighbouring countries. Between 2010 and 2020, most NBS programmes in geographical Europe matured considerably, both in terms of methodology (modernised) and with regard to the panel of conditions screened (expanded). These developments indicate that more collaboration in Europe through European organisations is gaining momentum. We can only accomplish the timely detection of newborn infants potentially suffering from one of the many rare diseases and take appropriate action by working together.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010014

Abstract:
The Editorial team (Ralph Fingerhut, Can Ficiccioglu, Dianne Webster, David Millington and I) is trying something new
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010013

Abstract:
Knowledge about newborn screening (NBS) is an important factor for parents to make an informed decision about participation. In Europe, countries inform parents differently about their NBS program, potentially including different knowledge aspects in their information. The aim of this study was to assess twenty-six European parental information products and to analyze their knowledge aspects through a content analysis. The analyzed aspects were compared to a list of eight knowledge aspects from scientific literature. The list includes aspects important for parents’ decision-making, such as the purpose of screening. The study showed that most of the eight knowledge aspects are included in NBS information products of the majority of countries. However, there were differences between countries, for example in the amount of detail and phrasing of the information. Additional relevant knowledge aspects have also been identified and are recommended to optimize information products, such as the handling of residual bloodspot samples. This study only assessed knowledge aspects in information products meant for printing, but many countries also use other communication methods, and the impact on knowledge of the delivery of the information needs further study. Preferences of parents on alternative communication methods need to be considered and evaluated on their effectiveness.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010012

Abstract:
The prevalence of sickle cell disease is high in Africa, with significant public health effects on the affected countries. Many of the countries with the highest prevalence of the disease also have poor health care systems and a high burden of infectious diseases with many other competing health care priorities. Although considerable efforts have been made to implement newborn screening for sickle cell disease programs in Africa, coverage is still low. Tanzania has one of the highest birth prevalence of children with sickle cell disease in Africa. In 2015, the country implemented a pilot project for Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease to assess feasibility. Several efforts have been made afterwards to continue providing the screening services as well as related comprehensive care services. Using qualitative methods, we conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with policy makers (n = 4), health care providers (n = 21) and families (n = 15) to provide an analysis of their experiences and perspectives on efforts to expand and sustain newborn screening for sickle cell disease and related comprehensive care services in the country. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the data through the framework analysis method. The findings have demonstrated both the opportunities and areas that need addressing in the implementation and sustainability of the services in low resource settings. A key area of strengthening is full integration of the services in countries’ health care systems to facilitate the coverage, accessibility and affordability of the services. Although the coverage of newborn screening services for sickle cell disease is still low, efforts at the local level to sustain the implementation of the programs and related comprehensive care services are encouraging and can be used as a model for other programs implemented in low resources settings.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010011

Abstract:
Newborn screening for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) using 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) as an indicator of disease was first introduced in the 1970s
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010010

Abstract:
Neonatal screening for congenital primary hypothyroidism (CH) is mandatory in Germany but medical care thereafter remains inconsistent. Therefore, the registry HypoDok of the German Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (DGKED) was analyzed to evaluate the implementation of evidence-based guidelines and to assess the number of included patients. Inclusion criteria were (i) date of birth between 10/2001 and 05/2020 and (ii) increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at screening and/or confirmation. The cohort was divided into before (A) and after (B) guideline publication in 02/2011, to assess the guideline’s influence on medical care. A total of 659 patients were analyzed as group A (n = 327) and group B (n = 332) representing 17.5% and 10.3% of CH patients identified in the German and Austrian neonatal screening program during the respective time period. Treatment start and thyroxine doses were similar in both groups and consistent with recommendations. Regular follow-ups were documented. In the first three years of life, less than half of the patients underwent audiometry; developmental assessment was performed in 49.3% (A) and 24.8% (B) (p < 0.01). Documentation of CH patient care by pediatric endocrinologists seemed to be established, however, it reflected only a minority of the affected patients. Therefore, comprehensive documentation as an important instrument of quality assurance and evidence-based medicine should be legally enforced and officially funded in order to record, comprehend, and optimize care and outcome in patients with rare diseases such as CH.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010009

Abstract:
A variant in the POLG gene is the leading cause of a heterogeneous group of mitochondrial disorders. No definitive treatment is currently available. Prenatal and newborn screening have the potential to improve clinical outcome of patients affected with POLG-related disorders. We reported a 4-month-old infant who presented with developmental delay, fever, and diarrhea. Within two weeks after hospital admission, the patient developed hepatic failure and died. Liver necropsy demonstrated an extensive loss of hepatocytes and bile duct proliferations. Trio-whole exome sequencing identified that the patient was compound heterozygous for a novel frameshift variant c.3102delG (p.Lys1035Serfs*59) and a common variant c.3286C>T (p.Arg1096Cys) in POLG (NM_002693.3) inherited from the mother and father, respectively. The c.3102delG (p.Lys1035Serfs*59) was a null variant and classified as pathogenic according to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Standards and Guidelines. Prenatal genetic screenings using rapid whole exome sequencing successfully detected the heterozygous c.3286C>T variant in the following pregnancy and the normal alleles in the other one. Both children had been healthy. We reviewed all 34 cases identified with the POLG c.3286C>T variant and found that all 15 compound heterozygous cases had two missense variants except our patient who had the truncating variant and showed the earliest disease onset, rapid deterioration, and the youngest death. All homozygous cases had disease onset before age 2 and developed seizure. Here, we report a novel POLG variant expanding the genotypic spectrum, demonstrate the successful use of exome sequencing for prenatal and neonatal screenings of POLG-related disorders, and show the genotype–phenotype correlation of the common c.3286C>T variant.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010008

Abstract:
Newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is performed by measuring the concentration of thyroxine (T4) and/or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in dried blood spots. Unfortunately, the levels of T4 and TSH vary due to multiple factors, and therefore the false-positive rate for the test is a challenge. We analyzed screening data from 2008 to 2017 to determine the effect of seasonal changes and manufacturer kit lot changes on T4 and TSH values and on numbers of infants referred. Over a 10-year period, we screened 2.4 million infants using commercially available fluoroimmunoassays to measure T4 and TSH concentrations in dried blood spots. During colder months, daily mean T4 and TSH values were higher and referral rates and false-positive rates were higher. However, there was no significant difference between the number of confirmed CH cases. Furthermore, in rare instances, we observed differences in T4 daily mean values during the 10-year period when manufacturer kit lot changes were made. Seasonal temperature variations influence measured T4 and TSH values and consequently lower the positive predictive value for CH testing in colder months. Newborn screening (NBS) programs should be aware that manufacturer kit lot changes may also influence T4 values.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010007

Abstract:
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a severe non-malignant disorder of hemoglobin and is inherited in an autosomal-recessive manner
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010006

Abstract:
Newborn screening (NBS) has widely been utilized in developed countries as a cost-effective public health strategy that reduces morbidity and mortality. Developing countries, however, are new to the NBS scene and have their own unique challenges, both in instituting the program as well as effectively acting on the results. NBS offers numerous ethical issues on a global scale, however, here we argue that there are unique ethical issues surrounding the development and expansion of newborn screening in Latin America given its highly heterogenous population. Once a NBS program is effectively instated, ethical considerations continue when pursuing expansion of screening to include further conditions. While Latin America grapples with the ethics of expanded newborn screening (ENBS), some developed countries discuss utility of genomic sequencing technologies in the newborn population. When the ability to detect further pathology is expanded, one must know what to do with this information. As rare diseases are identified either on ENBS or via genome sequencing, access to treatments for these rare diseases can be a real challenge. If we consider newborn screening as a global initiative, then we need more than a deontology approach to analyze these challenges; we need an approach that considers the unique characteristics of each territory and tremendous heterogeneity that exists prior to the implementation of these programs. As genomic technology advances further in the developed world, while some developing countries still lack even basic newborn screening, there is a further widening of the gap in global health disparities. The question is posed as to who has responsibility for these newborns’ lives on an international level. Without an approach towards newborn screening that accounts for the diverse global population, we believe optimal outcomes for newborns and families across the world will not be achieved.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010005

Abstract:
Routine newborn screening for many disorders is now so ingrained in newborn care that there is no question about whether it should be done. However, acceptance of newborn screening was not guaranteed when Robert Guthrie introduced it for phenylketonuria (PKU). This article describes the professional and personal story of Guthrie, a physician and microbiologist, who veered from cancer research to a commitment to prevent intellectual disability from PKU. It recounts how Guthrie was able to overcome strong opposition to mandatory screening from prominent physicians and medical societies, so that newborn screening for PKU would be routinely performed throughout the developed world, and would eventually form the basis for the (much more) comprehensive screening conducted today.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010004

Abstract:
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that International Journal of Neonatal Screening maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010003

Abstract:
It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of persistent, thoughtful parents and their importance in the development of treatments for their children’s rare disorders. Almost a century ago in Norway, observant parents led a brilliant young physician-scientist to his discovery of the underlying cause of their children’s profound developmental delay—i.e., phenylketonuria, or PKU. Decades later, in a recovering war-ravaged Britain, an equally persistent mother pressed the scientists at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to find a way to treat her seriously damaged daughter, Sheila, who suffered from PKU. Living on the financial edge, this mother insisted that Bickel and colleagues develop such a diet, and she volunteered Sheila to be the patient in the trial. The scientists concluded that the low phenylalanine diet helped but needed to be started very early—so, newborn screening was born to permit the implementation of this. Many steps brought us to where we are today, but these courageous parents made it all begin.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010002

Abstract:
The potential for genomic screening of the newborn, specifically adding genomic screening to current newborn screening (NBS), raises very significant ethical issues. Regardless of whether NBS of this type would include entire genomes or only the coding region of the genome (exome screening) or even sequencing specific genes, the ethical issues raised would be enormous. These issues include the limitations of bioinformatic interpretation of identified variants in terms of pathogenicity and accurate prognosis, the potential for substantial uncertainty about appropriate diagnosis, therapy, and follow-up, the possibility of much anxiety among providers and parents, the potential for unnecessary treatment and “medicalizing” normal children, the possibility of adding large medical costs for otherwise unnecessary follow-up and testing, the potential for negatively impacting medical and life insurance, and the almost impossible task of obtaining truly-informed consent. Moreover, the potentially-negative consequences of adding genomic sequencing to NBS might jeopardize all of NBS which has been and continues to be so beneficial for thousands of children and their families throughout the world.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7010001

Abstract:
Newborn screening (NBS) for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has revolutionized the diagnosis of this inherited disease. CF NBS goals are to identify, diagnose, and initiate early CF treatment to attain better health outcomes. Abnormal CF NBS infants require diagnostic analysis via sweat chloride testing (ST). During ST, insufficient sweat volume collection causes a “quantity not sufficient” (QNS) test result and may delay CF diagnosis. The CF Foundation recommends QNS rates <10% for infants <3 months, but many CF Centers experience difficulties meeting this standard. Our quality improvement (QI) study assessed infant and laboratory factors contributing to ST success and QNS rates from 2017–2019. Infants’ day of life (DOL) at successful ST completion was analyzed according to infant factors (birth weight (BW), gestational age, ethnicity, and sex). Laboratory factors and procedures affecting ST outcomes were also reviewed. At our institution, BW and gestational age were the infant factors found to significantly affect DOL at ST completion. ST education, reduced number of laboratory technicians, and direct observation during ST completion also improved ST success rates. This study supports QI measures and partnerships between CF centers and laboratory staff to identify and improve ST QNS rates while sustaining practices to ensure timely CF diagnostic testing.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040096

Abstract:
Pompe disease (GSD II) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme acid-α-glucosidase (GAA, EC 3.2.1.20), leading to generalized accumulation of lysosomal glycogen especially in the heart, skeletal, and smooth muscle, and the nervous system. It is generally classified based on the age of onset as infantile (IOPD) presenting during the first year of life, and late onset (LOPD) when it presents afterwards. In our study, a cohort of 13,627 samples were tested between January 2017 and December 2018 for acid-α-glucosidase (GAA, EC 3.2.1.20) deficiency either by fluorometry or tandem mass spectrometry (MS). Testing was performed for patients who displayed conditions of unknown etiology, e.g., CK elevations or cardiomyopathy, in the case of infantile patients. On average 8% of samples showed activity below the reference range and were further assessed by another enzyme activity measurement or molecular genetic analysis. Pre-analytical conditions, like proper drying, greatly affect enzyme activity, and should be assessed with measurement of reference enzyme(s). In conclusion, at-risk testing can provide a good first step for the future introduction of newborn screening for Pompe disease. It yields immediate benefits for the patients regarding the availability and timeliness of the diagnosis. In addition, the laboratory can introduce the required methodology and gain insights in the evaluation of results in a lower throughput environment. Finally, awareness of such a rare condition is increased tremendously among local physicians which can aid in the introduction newborn screening.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040095

Abstract:
Newborn Bloodspot Screening (NBS) has existed for over 60 years, having been initiated by Guthrie in the U.S. In the Philippines, NBS was introduced in 1996 and later was supported by legislation. The NBS program now includes 29 conditions, covering 91.6% of the newborn population in 2019. Program growth and expansion necessitated development of a formal performance evaluation and assessment scheme (PEAS) for monitoring performance and for continuously improving quality. This study’s objective was to present the development, implementation, and results to date of the Philippine Performance PEAS (PPEAS). Using the comprehensive listing of laboratory and non-laboratory elements in the model PEAS system in the U.S., PPEAS tools were developed for critical Philippine NBS system components: regional Department of Health (national health agency, Philippines) (DOH) offices (CHDs), NBS laboratories (NSCs), NBS specimen submitters (NSFs), and long-term case management centers (NBSCCs). Data generated from the various PPEAS have been periodically reviewed and analyzed for NBS system impact. PPEAS were developed to facilitate quality improvement at various levels of the Philippine NBS system. PPEAS identified successes, gaps, and challenges to be addressed by NSCs, NSFs, CHDs, and NBSCCs with the assistance of the Newborn Screening Reference Center and the Department of Health.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040094

Abstract:
Introduction: Cost-effectiveness (CEA) and cost–utility analyses (CUA) have become popular types of economic evaluations (EE) used for evidence-based decision-making in healthcare resource allocation. Newborn screening programs (NBS) can have significant clinical benefits for society, and cost-effectiveness analysis may help to select the optimal strategy among different screening programs, including the no-screening option, on different conditions. These economic analyses of NBS, however, are hindered by several methodological challenges. This study explored the methodological quality in recent NBS economic evaluations and analyzed the main challenges and strategies adopted by researchers to deal with them. Methods: A scoping review was conducted according to PRISMA methodology to identify CEAs and CUAs of NBS. The methodological quality of the retrieved studies was assessed quantitatively using a specific guideline for the quality assessment of NBS economic evaluations, by calculating a general score for each EE. Challenges in the studies were then explored using thematic analysis as a qualitative synthesis approach. Results: Thirty-five studies met the inclusion criteria. The quantitative analysis showed that the methodological quality of NBS economic evaluations was heterogeneous. Lack of clear description of items related to results, discussion, and discounting were the most frequent flaws. Methodological challenges in performing EEs of neonatal screenings include the adoption of a long time horizon, the use of quality-adjusted life years as health outcome measure, and the assessment of costs beyond the screening interventions. Conclusions: The results of this review can support future economic evaluation research, aiding researchers to develop a methodological guidance to perform EEs aimed at producing solid results to inform decisions for resource allocation in neonatal screening.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040093

Abstract:
Glutaric aciduria type 1, homocystinuria, isovaleric acidaemia, long-chain hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency and maple syrup urine disease are all inborn errors of metabolism that can be detected through newborn bloodspot screening. This evaluation was undertaken in 2013 to provide evidence to the UK National Screening Committee for the cost-effectiveness of including these five conditions in the UK Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme. A decision-tree model with lifetable estimates of outcomes was built with the model structure and parameterisation informed by a systematic review and expert clinical judgment. A National Health Service/Personal Social Services perspective was used, and lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were discounted at 1.5%. Uncertainty in the results was explored using expected value of perfect information analysis methods together with a sensitivity analysis using the screened incidence rate in the UK from 2014 to 2018. The model estimates that screening for all the conditions is more effective and cost saving when compared to not screening for each of the conditions, and the results were robust to the updated incidence rates. The key uncertainties included the sensitivity and specificity of the screening test and the estimated costs and QALYs.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040092

Abstract:
In 2015, the newborn screening (NBS) programmes in England and Wales were expanded to include four additional disorders: Classical Homocystinuria, Isovaleric Acidemia, Glutaric Aciduria Type 1 and Maple Syrup Urine Disease, bringing the total number of analytes quantified to eight: phenylalanine, tyrosine, leucine, methionine, isovalerylcarnitine, glutarylcarnitine, octanoylcarnitine and decanoylcarnitine. Post-implementation, population data monitoring showed that inter-laboratory variation was greater than expected, with 90th centiles varying from 17 to 59%. We evaluated the effect of stable isotope internal standard (IS) used for quantitation on inter-laboratory variation. Four laboratories analysed routine screening samples (n > 101,820) using a common IS. Inter-laboratory variation was determined for the eight analytes and compared with results obtained using an in-house common IS (n > 102,194). A linear mixed-effects model was fitted to the data. Using a common IS mix reduced the inter-laboratory variation significantly (p < 0.05) for five analytes. For three analytes, the lack of significance was explained by use of individual laboratory “calibration factors”. For screening programmes where laboratories adhere to single analyte cut-off values (COVs), it is important that inter-laboratory variation is minimised, primarily to prevent false positive results. Whilst the use of a common IS helps achieve this, it is evident that instrument set-up also contributes to inter-laboratory variation.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040091

Abstract:
There have been significant advances allowing for the integration of mucopolysaccharidosis I into newborn screening programs. Initial experiences using a single-tier approach for this disorder have highlighted shortcomings that require immediate remediation. The recent evaluation of a second-tier biomarker integrated into the MPS I newborn screening protocol has been demonstrated to greatly improve the precision and predictive value of newborn screening for this disorder. This commentary urges newborn screening programs to learn from these experiences and improve newborn screening for mucopolysaccharidosis I and future mucopolysaccharidoses newborn screening programs by implementation of a second-tier biomarker analyte.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040090

Abstract:
Newborn screening enables the diagnosis of treatable disorders at the early stages, and because of its countless benefits, conditions have been continuously added to screening panels, allowing early intervention, aiming for the prevention of irreversible manifestations and even premature death. Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are lysosomal storage disorders than can benefit from an early diagnosis, and thus are being recommended for newborn screening. They are multisystemic progressive disorders, with treatment options already available for several MPS types. MPS I was the first MPS disorder enrolled in the newborn screening (NBS) panel in the USA and a few other countries, and other MPS types are expected to be added. Very few studies about NBS for MPS in Latin America have been published so far. In this review, we report the results of pilot studies performed in Mexico and Brazil using different methodologies: tandem mass spectrometry, molecular analysis, digital microfluidics, and fluorimetry. These experiences are important to report and discuss, as we expect to have several MPS types added to NBS panels shortly. This addition will enable timely diagnosis of MPS, avoiding the long diagnostic odyssey that is part of the current natural history of this group of diseases, and leading to a better outcome for the affected patients.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040089

Abstract:
Pennsylvania started newborn screening for Pompe disease in February 2016. Between February 2016 and December 2019, 531,139 newborns were screened. Alpha-Glucosidase (GAA) enzyme activity is measured by flow-injection tandem mass spectrometry (FIA/MS/MS) and full sequencing of the GAA gene is performed as a second-tier test in all newborns with low GAA enzyme activity [<2.10 micromole/L/h]. A total of 115 newborns had low GAA enzyme activity and abnormal genetic testing and were referred to metabolic centers. Two newborns were diagnosed with Infantile Onset Pompe Disease (IOPD), and 31 newborns were confirmed to have Late Onset Pompe Disease (LOPD). The incidence of IOPD + LOPD was 1:16,095. A total of 30 patients were compound heterozygous for one pathogenic and one variant of unknown significance (VUS) mutation or two VUS mutations and were defined as suspected LOPD. The incidence of IOPD + LOPD + suspected LOPD was 1: 8431 in PA. We also found 35 carriers, 15 pseudodeficiency carriers, and 2 false positive newborns.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040088

Abstract:
The lysosomal storage disorder, mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPSI), results from mutations in IDUA, the gene that encodes the glycosaminoglycan-degrading enzyme α-L-iduronidase. Newborn screening efforts for MPSI have greatly increased the number of novel IDUA variants identified, but with insufficient experimental evidence regarding their pathogenicity, many of these variants remain classified as variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Defining pathogenicity for novel IDUA variants is critical for decisions regarding medical management and early intervention. Here, we describe a biochemical platform for the characterization of IDUA variants that relies on viral delivery of IDUA DNA into IDUA-deficient HAP1 cells and isolation of single cell expression clones. The relative specific activity of wild-type and variant α-iduronidase was determined using a combination of Western blot analysis and α-iduronidase activity assays. The specific activity of each variant enzyme was consistent across different single cell clones despite variable IDUA expression and could be accurately determined down to 0.05–0.01% of WT α-iduronidase activity. With this strategy we compared the specific activities of known pseudodeficiency variants (p.His82Gln, p.Ala79Thr, p.Val322Glu, p.Asp223Asn) or pathogenic variants (p.Ser633Leu, p.His240Arg) with variants of uncertain significance (p.Ser586Phe, p.Ile272Leu). The p.Ser633Leu and p.His240Arg variants both show very low activities consistent with their association with Scheie syndrome. In our experiments, however, p.His240Arg exhibited a specific activity five times higher than p.Ser633Leu in contrast to other reports showing equivalent activity. Cell clones expressing the p.Ser586Phe and p.Ile272Leu variants had specific activities in the range of other pseudodeficiency variants tested. Our findings show that pseudodeficiency and pathogenic variants can be distinguished from each other with regard to specific activity, and confirms that all the pseudodeficiency variants variably reduce α-iduronidase activity. We envision this platform will be a valuable resource for the rigorous assessment of the novel IDUA variants emerging from the expansion of newborn screening efforts.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040087

Abstract:
To tackle the ever-increasing ambitions of the International Journal of Neonatal Screening (IJNS), in November 2019, we were looking for an Associate Editor to strengthen the Editorial board of IJNS
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040086

Abstract:
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the passing on 13 August 2020, of Dr
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040084

Abstract:
The expansion of national newborn screening (NBS) programmes has provided significant benefits in the diagnosis and early treatment of several rare, heritable conditions, preventing adverse health outcomes for most affected infants. New technological developments have enabled the implementation of testing panel covering over 50 disorders. Consequently, the increment of false positive rate has led to a high number of healthy infants recalled for expensive and often invasive additional testing, opening a debate about the harm-benefit ratio of the expanded newborn screening. The false-positive rate represents a challenge for healthcare providers working in NBS systems. Here, we give an overview on the most commonly used strategies for decreasing the adverse effects due to inconclusive screening results. The focus is on NBS performance improvement through the implementation of analytical methods, the application of new and more informative biomarkers, and by using post-analytical interpretive tools. These strategies, used as part of the NBS process, can to enhance the positive predictive value of the test and reduce the parental anxiety and healthcare costs related to the unnecessary tests and procedures.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040085

Abstract:
Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a progressive lysosomal storage disease, with neurological and visceral involvement, in which early diagnosis through newborn screening (NBS) and early treatment can improve outcomes. We present our first 5 years of experience with laboratory and clinical management of NBS for MPS I. Since 2015, we have screened 160,011 newborns by measuring α-L-iduronidase (IDUA) activity and, since 2019, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in dried blood spot (DBS) as a second-tier test. Positive screening patients were referred to our clinic for confirmatory clinical and molecular testing. We found two patients affected by MPS I (incidence of 1:80,005). Before the introduction of second-tier testing, we found a high rate of false-positives due to pseudodeficiency. With GAG analysis in DBS as a second-tier test, no false-positive newborns were referred to our clinic. The confirmed patients were early treated with enzyme replacement therapy and bone-marrow transplantation. For both, the clinical outcome of the disease is in the normal range. Our experience confirms that NBS for MPS I is feasible and effective, along with the need to include GAG assay as a second-tier test. Follow-up of the two positive cases identified confirms the importance of early diagnosis through NBS and early treatment to improve the outcome of these patients.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040083

Abstract:
Stored dried blood spots (DBS) can provide valuable samples for the retrospective diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism, and for validation studies for newborn blood spot screening programs. Acylcarnitine species are subject to degradation upon long-term storage at room temperature, but limited data are available on the stability in original samples and the impact on acylcarnitine ratios. We analysed complete acylcarnitine profiles by flow-injection tandem mass spectrometry in 598 anonymous DBS stored from 2013 to 2017, at +4 °C during the first year and thereafter at room temperature. The concentrations of C2-, C3-, C4-, C5-, C6-, C8-, C10:1-, C10-, C12:1-, C12-, C14:1-, C14-, C16:1-, C16-, C18:2-, C18:1-, C18-, C5OH+C4DC-, C18:1OH-, and C16DC-carnitine decreased significantly, whereas a positive trend was found for free carnitine. Only the C4/C8-, C8/C10-, C14:1/C10- and C14:1/C16-carnitine ratios appeared robust for the metabolite instability. The metabolite instability may provoke the wrong interpretation of test results in the case of retrospective studies and risk the inaccurate estimation of cut-off targets in validation studies when only stored control DBS are used. We recommend including control DBS in diagnostic, retrospective cohort studies, and, for validation studies, we recommend using fresh samples and repeatedly re-evaluating cut-off targets.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040082

Abstract:
Generalizing about the cost-effectiveness of newborn screening (NBS) is difficult due to the heterogeneity of disorders included in NBS panels, along with data limitations. Furthermore, it is unclear to what extent evidence about cost-effectiveness should influence decisions to screen for specific disorders. Screening newborns for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency can serve as a useful test case, since there is no global consensus on whether CAH should be part of NBS panels. Published and unpublished cost-effectiveness analyses of CAH screening have yielded mixed findings, largely due to differences in methods and data sources for estimating health outcomes and associated costs of early versus late diagnosis as well as between-country differences. Understanding these methodological challenges can help inform future analyses and could also help interested policymakers interpret the results of economic evaluations.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040081

Abstract:
We screened 51,081 newborns for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) using a two-tiered strategy quantifying very long chain lysophosphatadylcholines (LPC). Our testing strategy used flow injection tandem mass spectrometry for the first-tier analysis of LPCs, and second-tier quantification of C26:0 LPC using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. There were 364 specimens considered abnormal using our first-tier algorithm that relied on the four LPC measurements and post-analytical tools. Second-tier test results were reported as normal or abnormal based on a cutoff for the single analyte, C26:0 LPC. Eleven cases were reported as abnormal based on second-tier test results. One male with ALD was identified, and two females with peroxisomal biogenesis disorders were also identified. A single female case remains unresolved, due to a loss to follow up after a negative molecular test result for ABCD1 gene sequencing. The positive predictive value for confirmed, clinically relevant disorders during this pilot study was 27.3%. Challenges identified during the study period were based around coverage for confirmatory testing, particularly if family members needed molecular testing, which is an ongoing issue with newborn screening in Georgia. We also encountered issues with the follow up for a patient who remained asymptomatic. Due to the different timelines involved with clinical findings in ALD, follow-up coordination may be more difficult, particularly if the child identified by newborn screening (NBS) is the only member of the family affected, or able to be tested.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040080

Abstract:
As biotechnologies advance and better treatment regimens emerge, there is a trend toward applying more advanced technologies and adding more conditions to the newborn screening (NBS) panel. In the current Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), all conditions but one, congenital hypothyroidism, have well-defined genes and inheritance patterns, so it is beneficial to incorporate molecular testing in NBS when it is necessary and appropriate. Indeed, the applications of molecular technologies have taken NBS to previously uncharted territory. In this paper, based on our own program experience and what has been reported in the literature, we describe current practices regarding the applications of molecular technologies in routine NBS practice in the era of genomic and precision medicine.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040079

Abstract:
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (MPS II), also known as Hunter syndrome, is a lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase (IDS). MPS II satisfies all criteria defined by the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) for inclusion in the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) for newborn screening, apart from the fact that only minimal prospective population screening data are available. This report details the analytical validation, clinical validation, and implementation of a fluorometric assay for measurement of IDS activity in newborn dried blood spot (DBS) specimens at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL). The assay is performed in a microwell plate format requiring approximately 15 min of hands-on time per plate and an incubation time of two hours. The analytical validation of this assay included linearity, analytical sensitivity, precision, and carry-over testing. Clinical validation was completed using more than 5000 deidentified presumptive normal newborn DBS specimens as well as seven specimens from patients known to be affected with MPS II. Following validation, MSPHL began prospective screening using the IDS assay on 1 November 2018. In the first 18 months of screening (to 30 June 2020), 146,954 specimens were prospectively screened using the method. Two newborns were identified with severe Hunter syndrome and the assay had a presumptive positive rate of 0.022%.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040078

Abstract:
Newborn screening (NBS) for mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I, Hurler syndrome) is currently conducted in about two-fifths of the NBS programs in the United States and in a few other countries. Screening is performed by measurement of residual activity of the enzyme alpha-l-iduronidase in dried blood spots using either tandem mass spectrometry or digital microfluidic fluorometry (DMF). In this article, we focus on the development and practical experience of using DMF to screen for MPS I in the USA. By means of their responses to a questionnaire, we determined for each responding program that is screening for MPS I using DMF the screen positive rate, follow-up methods, and classification of confirmed cases as either severe or attenuated. Overall, the results show that at the time of reporting, over 1.3 million newborns in the US were screened for MPS I using DMF, 2094 (0.173%) of whom were screen positive. Of these, severe MPS I was confirmed in five cases, attenuated MPS I was confirmed in two cases, and undetermined phenotype was reported in one case. We conclude that DMF is an effective and economical method to screen for MPS I and recommend second-tier testing owing to high screen positive rates. Preliminary results of NBS for MPS II and MPS III using DMF are discussed.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040077

Abstract:
Proximal urea cycle disorders (PUCDs) have adverse outcomes such as intellectual disability and death, which may benefit from newborn screening (NBS) through early detection and prevention with early treatment. Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD) and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 deficiency (CPS1D) are screened in six and eight states in the United States. We analyzed current evidence to see if it supports inclusion of PUCDs in the NBS panels based upon prevention potential, medical, diagnostic, treatment, and public health rationales. A literature review was performed in PubMed using MESH terms for OTCD, CPS1D, and NAGSD. A systematic review was performed in the hallmark of NBS inclusion criteria. We reviewed 31 articles. Molecular and biochemical diagnosis is available to provide diagnostic evidence. Untreated PUCDs have a significant burden with considerable developmental delay and mortality that may improve with early treatment. Tandem mass spectrometry can be used for NBS for PUCDs; however, citrulline and glutamine alone are not specific. Medical treatments currently available for PUCDs meet existing medical, diagnostic, treatment, and public health rationales. Improvement in NBS algorithms to increase sensitivity and specificity will allow earlier diagnosis and treatment to potentially improve disability and mortality rates.
Published: 25 September 2020
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040076

Abstract:
CLAN (Caring and Living as Neighbours) is an Australian-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to equity for children living with chronic health conditions in resource-poor settings. Since 2004, CLAN has collaborated with a broad range of partners across the Asia Pacific region to improve quality of life for children living with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This exploratory case study uses the Knowledge to Action (KTA) framework to analyse CLAN’s activities for children living with CAH in the Asia Pacific. The seven stages of the KTA action cycle inform a systematic examination of comprehensive, collaborative, sustained actions to address a complex health challenge. The KTA framework demonstrates the “how” of CLAN’s approach to knowledge creation and exchange, and the centrality of community development to multisectoral collaborative action across a range of conditions, cultures and countries to redressing child health inequities. This includes a commitment to: affordable access to essential medicines and equipment; education, research and advocacy; optimisation of medical management; encouragement of family support groups; efforts to reduce financial burdens; and ethical, transparent program management as critical components of success. Improvements in quality of life and health outcomes are achievable for children living with CAH and other chronic health conditions in resource-poor settings. CLAN’s strategic framework for action offers a model for those committed to #LeaveNoChildBehind.
Published: 17 September 2020
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030075

Abstract:
Newborn screening (NBS) laboratories cannot accurately compare mass spectrometry-derived results and cutoff values due to differences in testing methodologies. The objective of this study was to assess harmonization of laboratory proficiency test (PT) results using quality control (QC) data. Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program (NSQAP) QC and PT data reported from 302 laboratories in 2019 were used to compare results among laboratories. QC materials were provided as dried blood spot cards which included a base pool and the base pool enriched with specific concentrations of metabolites in a linear range. QC data reported by laboratories were regressed on QC data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and laboratory’s regression parameters were used to harmonize their PT result. In general, harmonization tended to reduce overall variation in PT data across laboratories. The metabolites glutarylcarnitine (C5DC), tyrosine, and phenylalanine were displayed to highlight inter- and intra-method variability in NBS results. Several limitations were identified using retrospective data for harmonization, and future studies will address these limitations to further assess feasibility of using NSQAP QC data to harmonize PT data. Harmonizing NBS data using common QC materials appears promising to aid result comparison between laboratories.
Published: 15 September 2020
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030074

Abstract:
Newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) is recommended for implementation in many developed countries as the standard of care. Efforts to implement this point of care screen in developing regions face unique barriers, and present important opportunities. The First Pan-African Newborn Screening Conference, held in Rabat in June 2019, incorporated a workshop dedicated specifically to identifying and discussing CCHD screening issues in the Middle East Northern Africa (MENA) region. The issues explored may be beneficial as part of the greater discussion of CCHD screening’s growing importance in developing regions around the world. Screening experts presented education and lessons learned from previous CCHD implementations, including a hands-on technical demonstration of CCHD screening. Children’s HeartLink, The Newborn Foundation, and Children’s National Hospital each presented on their experiences working with teams and pilot projects from around the world. Experience in implementation from Children’s Hospital Marrakesh was presented and highlighted some of the unique findings, challenges, and experiences of screening in Morocco. As developing regions investigate the implementation of CCHD screening using pulse oximetry either as part of research studies, pilots, regional studies, or as part of a nationally supported program, data to inform policymakers on the benefits of screening and specific needs for infrastructure development and resources are essential. This special issue contains initial lessons learned on newborn CCHD screening from a select number of developing countries, including Saudi Arabia and Morocco and regions such as Latin America.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030073

Abstract:
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II, Hunter syndrome) is a rare, progressive multisystemic lysosomal storage disorder with significant morbidity and premature mortality. Infants with MPS II develop signs and symptoms of the disorder in the early years of life, yet diagnostic delays are very common. Enzyme replacement therapy is an effective treatment option. It has been shown to prolong survival and improve or stabilize many somatic manifestations of the disorder. Our initial experience with newborn screening in 162,000 infants was previously reported. Here, we update that experience with the findings in 339,269 infants. Measurement of iduronate-2-sulfatase (I2S) activity was performed on dried blood spot samples submitted for other newborn screening disorders. A positive screen was defined as I2S activity less than or equal to 10% of the daily median. In this series, 28 infants had a positive screening test result, and four other infants had a borderline result. Three positive diagnoses of MPS II were established, and 25 were diagnosed as having I2S pseudodeficiency. The natural history and the clinical features of MPS II make it an ideal target for newborn screening. Newborn screening was effective in identifying affected infants in our population with an acceptable rate of false positive results.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030072

Abstract:
Two lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), Pompe disease and Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPSI) were added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) for newborn screening (NBS) in 2015 and 2016, respectively. These conditions are being screened with variable practice in terms of primary and reflex analytes (either biochemical or molecular testing) as well as collection of short- and long-term follow-up elements. The goal of this study is to evaluate practices of state health departments in regards to screening methods and follow-up data collected. We conducted online surveys and phone questionnaires to determine each U.S. state’s practices for screening and follow-up of positive newborn screens. We report the first snapshot of practices for NBS for the LSDs included on the RUSP. All 50 U.S. states responded to our survey. The majority of U.S. states are not currently screening for Pompe disease and MPSI as of March 2020, but this number will increase to 38 states in the coming 1–3 years based on survey results. Our survey identifies data elements used by state health departments for short-and long-term follow-up that could serve as the basis of common elements for larger, public health-based analyses of the benefits and efficacy of screening for Pompe disease and MPSI.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030071

Abstract:
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) was the fourth disorder added to the national Swedish neonatal screening program in 1986, and approximately 115,000 newborns are screened annually. Dried blood spot (DBS) screening with measurement of 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP) is also offered to older children moving to Sweden from countries lacking a national DBS screening program. Here, we report an update on the CAH screening from January 2011 until December 2019. Results: During the study period, 1,030,409 newborns and 34,713 older children were screened. In total, 87 newborns were verified to have CAH, which gives an overall positive predictive value (PPV) of 11% and 21% for term infants. Including the five missed CAH cases identified during this period, this gives an incidence of 1:11,200 of CAH in Sweden. Among the older children, 12 of 14 recalled cases were found to be true positive for CAH. All patients were genotyped as part of the clinical follow-up and 70% of the newborns had salt wasting (SW) CAH and 92% had classic CAH (i.e., SW and simple virilizing (SV) CAH). In the group of 12 older children, none had SW CAH and two had SV CAH. Conclusion: The incidence of classic CAH is relatively high in Sweden. Early genetic confirmation with CYP21A2 genotyping has been a valuable complement to the analysis of 17OHP to predict disease severity, make treatment decisions and for the follow-up and evaluation of the screening program.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030070

Abstract:
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a common treatable disorder which is associated with life-threatening adrenal crisis, sexual ambiguity, and/or abnormal growth if undiagnosed. Newborn screening is a cost-effective tool to detect affected babies early after birth to optimize their treatment and follow-up. Newborn screening however is in its nascent stage in India where it is not yet introduced universally for all babies. The following review briefly highlights the challenges (e.g., lack of universal screening, healthcare resources) and opportunities (e.g., reduction in morbidity and early correct gender assignment in females) associated with newborn screening for CAH in a large Indian birth cohort.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030069

Abstract:
All newborn screening (NBS) for mucopolysaccharidosis-I (MPS-I) is carried out by the measurement of α-iduronidase (IDUA) enzymatic activity in dried blood spots (DBS). The majority of low enzyme results are due to pseudodeficiencies, and studies from the Mayo Clinic have shown that the false positive rate can be greatly reduced by including a second-tier analysis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in DBS as part of NBS. In the present study, we obtained newborn DBS from 13 patients with severe MPS-I and 2 with attenuated phenotypes. These samples were submitted to four different GAG mass spectrometry analyses in a comparative study: (1) internal disaccharide; (2) endogenous disaccharide; (3) Sensi-Pro; (4) Sensi-Pro Lite (a variation of Sensi-Pro with a simplified workflow). Patients with attenuated MPS-I show less GAG elevation than those with severe disease, and all MPS-I patients were separated from the reference range using all four methods. The minimal differential factor (lowest GAG marker level in MPS-I samples divided by highest level in the reference range of 30 random newborns) was about two for internal disaccharide, Sensi-Pro, and Sensi-Pro Lite methods. The endogenous disaccharide was clearly the best method with a minimal differential of 16-fold. This study supports use of second-tier GAG analysis of newborn DBS, especially the endogenous disaccharide method, as part of NBS to reduce the false positive rate.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030068

Abstract:
Neonatal screening for congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency is now performed in an increasing number of countries all over the world. The main goal of the screening is to achieve early diagnosis and treatment in order to prevent neonatal salt-crisis and death. The screening laboratory can also play an important role in increasing the general awareness of the disease and act as the source of information and education for clinicians to facilitate improved initial care, ensure prompt and correct glucocorticoid dosing to optimize the long-term outcome for the patients. A National CAH Registry and CYP21A2 genotyping provide valuable information both for evaluating the screening program and the clinical outcome. The Swedish experience is described.
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