International Journal of Neonatal Screening

Journal Information
EISSN : 2409-515X
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 261
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International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7020023

Newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism remains challenging decades after broad implementation worldwide. Testing protocols are not uniform in terms of targets (TSH and/or T4) and protocols (parallel vs. sequential testing; one or two specimen collection times), and specificity (with or without collection of a second specimen) is overall poor. The purpose of this retrospective study is to investigate the potential impact of multivariate pattern recognition software (CLIR) to improve the post-analytical interpretation of screening results. Seven programs contributed reference data (N = 1,970,536) and two sets of true (TP, N = 1369 combined) and false (FP, N = 15,201) positive cases for validation and verification purposes, respectively. Data were adjusted for age at collection, birth weight, and location using polynomial regression models of the fifth degree to create three-dimensional regression surfaces. Customized Single Condition Tools and Dual Scatter Plots were created using CLIR to optimize the differential diagnosis between TP and FP cases in the validation set. Verification testing correctly identified 446/454 (98%) of the TP cases, and could have prevented 1931/5447 (35%) of the FP cases, with variable impact among locations (range 4% to 50%). CLIR tools either as made here or preferably standardized to the recommended uniform screening panel could improve performance of newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7020022

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a recent addition to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, prompting many states to begin screening newborns for the disorder. We provide California’s experience with ALD newborn screening, highlighting the clinical and epidemiological outcomes observed as well as program implementation challenges. In this retrospective cohort study, we examine ALD newborn screening results and clinical outcomes for 1,854,631 newborns whose specimens were received by the California Genetic Disease Screening Program from 16 February 2016 through 15 February 2020. In the first four years of ALD newborn screening in California, 355 newborns screened positive for ALD, including 147 (41%) with an ABCD1 variant of uncertain significance (VUS) and 95 males diagnosed with ALD. After modifying cutoffs, we observed an ALD birth prevalence of 1 in 14,397 males. Long-term follow-up identified 14 males with signs of adrenal involvement. This study adds to a growing body of literature reporting on outcomes of newborn screening for ALD and offering a glimpse of what other large newborn screening programs can expect when adding ALD to their screening panel.
International Journal of Neonatal Screening, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/ijns7020021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Editorial team (Ralph Fingerhut, Can Ficiccioglu, Dianne Webster, David Millington and I) is trying something new
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