International Journal of Neonatal Screening

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EISSN : 2409-515X
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 235
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Published: 23 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 20 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 19 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 19 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 13 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 13 November 2020
by MDPI
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 [
Published: 12 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
Published: 4 November 2020
by MDPI
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
Published: 3 November 2020
by MDPI
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
Published: 2 November 2020
by MDPI
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.
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