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Neonatal screening for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in Taiwan.

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Department of Medical Research and Education, Institute of Genetics, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common enzymopathic disease in Taiwan. The mass neonatal screening of G6PD deficiency by fluorometric spot test in Taiwan was started with a pilot program in 1984. The nationwide screening was started on July 1, 1987, and a follow-up system comprising of eighteen referral hospitals, including outlying islands, was organized for confirmatory test, medical care and genetic counseling. From July 1987 to December 1997, 2,971,192 heel blood samples collected on filter paper from 1,143 delivery units were screened by four neonatal screening centers. 46,570 cases were confirmed as G6PD deficiency is estimated to be around 2.1% (male 3.1%, female 0.9%) in Taiwan. The coverage rate of neonatal screening was 99% in 1997. To assess the reliability of the confirmatory test, an external quality assurance (QA) program for G6PD assay was developed. Periodically, 3 or 5 lyophilized quality control materials with different activities of G6PD were sent to each referral hospital by speed post delivery in dry ice. From January 1988 to June 1998, 85 QA services were performed. Two hundred and seven (13.5%) abnormal QA results were found, which were attributed to clerk (11.6%), procedural (16.4%), and instrumental errors (47.3%). In aid to confirm G6PD deficiency, a method to detect the G6PD mutation by using the dried blood samples was developed. The frequencies of the mutant alleles in Taiwan were determined to be 46.8% (1376G > T), 16.2% (1388G > A), 7.9% (95A > G), 6.5% (493A > G), 5.6% (392G >T), 4.6% (1024C > T), 0.5% (487G > A) and 0.5% (519C > G), respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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