Newborn Screening for X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy in Georgia: Experiences from a Pilot Study Screening of 51,081 Newborns

Int J Neonatal Screen. 2020 Oct 23;6(4):81. 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.

Keywords: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy; newborn screening; peroxisomal biogenesis disorders; very long chain fatty acids.