Results in Journal International Journal of Neonatal Screening: 236
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International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040083
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/ijns6040084
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/ijns6040082
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
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
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
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/ijns6040077
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.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040078
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/ijns6040076
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.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6030075
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.