Newborn screening for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD): validation of a combined liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) method

Mol Genet Metab. 2009 Jul;97(3):212-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2009.03.010. Epub 2009 Apr 1.


Newborn screening for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) has until now been limited in implementation because of the lack of an accepted standard methodology. We have previously reported a technique using LC-MS/MS analysis that could provide the basis for screening of newborns for X-ALD. The target analyte diagnostic for X-ALD and other peroxisomal disorders of peroxisomal beta-oxidation is 1-hexacosanoyl-2-lyso-sn-3-glycero-phosphorylcholine (26:0-lyso-PC). We report here the validation of the analytical method using an authentic standard of the target compound. The method possesses sensitivity of <1.0fmole injected on column with a correlation coefficient (R(2)) of 0.9987. A tetradeuterated analog of 26:0-lyso-PC served as the internal standard. The sensitivity of this clinical method was confirmed using 17 newborn samples of individuals with peroxisomal disorders retrieved from state newborn screening programs. These samples were run masked with over 1000 newborn samples. All affected individuals were identified with one exception. One sample which was retrieved as an affected did not have the biochemical or genetic abnormality of X-ALD and thus is considered an error in sample identity. These studies clearly show that the method is highly sensitive and accurate in identifying individuals with a defect in peroxisomal beta-oxidation such as X-ALD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / blood
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Reference Standards
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Lysophosphatidylcholines