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Med Pediatr Oncol. 1994;22(3):181-6.

False positive results in a neuroblastoma screening programme.

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Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.


Twenty thousand, eight hundred and twenty-nine babies were screened for neuroblastoma at 6 months of age by measuring homovanillic (HVA) and vanillylmandelic (VMA) acid in urine and rationing these to creatinine. Using a "cut off" of the mean + 3 SD, 10 were found to be positive. Two were found on evaluation to have neuroblastoma and in the remaining 8 the raised levels of HVA and/or VMA returned to normal. Only one of the 8 false positive babies was absolutely normal, most having a chronic disorder or illness. Utilising new centiles which relate HVA and VMA to creatinine, only 3 of the 8 would have remained positive, a false positive rate of 0.01%. The false negative rate would have remained unchanged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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