Background: The objective was to investigate the specificity of the hemoglobinopathy newborn screening in premature neonates as compared to term neonates. Procedure: The screening results from infants suspected to have hemoglobinopathy disease identified by the Florida Newborn Screening Program for years 2002-2007 were compared to the corresponding confirmatory testing. The risks for false positives for preterm and full term newborns were calculated by Chi-square or the Cochran-Armitage test for trend. Isoelectric focusing and HPLC were the methods of hemoglobin screening. Results: Over 2,300 neonates (1/576 neonates born in Florida) were suspected to have hemoglobinopathy. The most common abnormal pattern in term and preterm infants (gestational age 22-36 weeks) suggesting disease at screening was FS. Overall, 93% of the children who screened positive for FCA and 64% of infants identified with FSA were later confirmed with trait. FSC was confirmed in 96% of the cases in both preterm and term infants. Compared to term newborns, preterm newborns were more likely to have a false positive result for FS or FC at screening. Twenty-three percent of preterms with FS and 59% of preterms with FC were diagnosed as traits by confirmatory testing, compared to only 2% and 6% for term infants (P<0.001). Conclusions: As compared to term newborns, more preterm newborns with trait were misidentified as having sickle cell anemia or hemoglobin C at screening. We speculate that abnormal hemoglobins may precede the development of hemoglobin A during fetal life.
- Newborn screening
- Sickle cell disease
- Sickle cell trait
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health