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J Pediatr. 2005 Sep;147(3 Suppl):S78-82.

Diagnostic dilemmas resulting from the immunoreactive trypsinogen/DNA cystic fibrosis newborn screening algorithm.

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New England Newborn Screening Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02130, USA.



To quantitate the proportion of infants identified through cystic fibrosis (CF) newborn screening (NBS) by an immunoreactive trypsinogen (IRT)/DNA screening algorithm who have an unclear diagnosis as defined by the findings of an elevated IRT level and either 1) 2 CF gene (CFTR) mutations detected and sweat chloride level <60 mEq/L; or 2) 0 or 1 CFTR mutations and a "borderline" sweat chloride level >or=30 and <60 mEq/L.


Using the 4-year cohort of CF-affected infants recently described by the Massachusetts CF NBS program, we identified and described the number of infants with the diagnostic characteristics (diagnostic dilemmas) aforementioned.


Of infants with positive results on CF NBS who had 1 CFTR mutation detected and a borderline sweat chloride concentration, nearly 20% displayed a second CFTR mutation on further evaluation. Of all infants with positive CF NBS results considered affected with CF, 11% had a diagnosis that fell into 1 of the diagnostic dilemma categories aforementioned.


Four problematic diagnostic categories generated by CF NBS are defined. In the absence of data on the natural history of such infants, careful follow-up is recommended for infants in whom a definitive diagnosis is elusive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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