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Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(1):82-7.

Genetic and clinical features of false-negative infants in a neonatal screening programme for cystic fibrosis.

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  • 1Cystic Fibrosis Centre, University of Milan, Italy. rita.padoan@unimi.it


A study was performed on the delayed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis (CF) in infants who had false-negative results in a neonatal screening programme. The genetic and clinical features of false-negative infants in this screening programme were assessed together with the efficiency of the screening procedure in the Lombardia region. In total, 774,687 newborns were screened using a two-step immunoreactive trypsinogen (IRT) (in the years 1990-1992), IRT/IRT + delF508 (1993-1998) or IRT/IRT + polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA) protocol (1998-1999). Out of 196 CF children born in the 10 y period 15 were false negative on screening (7.6%) and molecular analysis showed a high variability in the genotypes. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene mutations identified were delF508, D1152H, R1066C, R334W, G542X, N1303K, F1052V, A120T, 3849 + 10kbC --> T, 2789 + 5G --> A, 5T-12TG and the novel mutation D110E. In three patients no mutation was identified after denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the majority of CFTR gene exons.


The clinical phenotypes of CF children diagnosed by their symptoms at different ages were very mild. None of them presented with a severe lung disease. The majority of them did not seem to have been damaged by the delayed diagnosis. The combination of IRT assay plus genotype analysis (1998-1999) appears to be a more reliable method of detecting CF than IRT measurement alone or combined with only the delF508 mutation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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