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Newborn screening of inherited metabolic disease in Korea

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2006;49(11):1125-1139.
Published online November 15, 2006.
Newborn screening of inherited metabolic disease in Korea
Dong Hwan Lee
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Korea
유전성 대사질환의 신생아 스크리닝
순천향대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Dong Hwan Lee, Email: ldh@hosp.sch.ac.kr
In 1991, the Ministry of Health & Social affairs adopted a nationwide service program for neonatal screening of phenylketonuria, galactosemia, maple syrup urine disease, homocystinuria, histidinemia & congenital hypothyroidism for newborns delivered from low class pregnant women registered in health centers. Government decreased the test items from six to two, PKU & congenital hypothyroidism to increase test numbers with same budget from 1995. Government decided to test PKU & hypothyroidism for all newborns from 1997. 78 laboratories wanted to participate for neonatal screening test in 1999. Government didn't decide laboratory center for a certain district and placed responsibility on free competition. Government are planning to test 573,000 newborns from 1998, Government decided to screen 6 items PKU, congenital hypothyroidism, maple syrup urine disese, homocystinuria, galactosemia and congenital adrenal hyperplasia from 2006. 17 laboratores are participating now. The cost of screening test is supported by both the federal government and local government on a 40-60 basis. In case a patient with an inherited metabolic disease is diagnosed by screening of government program, special milk is provided at government's expense. Interlaboratory quality control was started 6 times a year from 1994. According to the government project, 3,707,773 newborns were screened. 86 PKU, 718 congenital hypothyroidism were detected. So incidence of PKU is 1/43,114 and congenital hypothyroidism is 1/4,612. Maeil dairy company produced new special formula for PKU, MMA and PA, MSUD, urea cycle disorder, homocystinuria, isovaleric acidemia from Oct. 1999. The cost benefit of performing screening procedures coupled with treatment has been estimated to be as high as 1.77 times in PKU, 11.11 times in congenital hypothyroidism than cost without screening. We are trying to increase the budget to test all newborns for Tandem mass sereening & Wilson disease from 2008. Now it is a very important problem to decrease laboratory numbers of neonatal screening in Korea. So we are considering 4-5 central laboratories which cover all newborns and are equipped with tandem mass spectrometer & enzyme immunoassay for TSH, 17OHP & enzyme colorimetric assay for galactose.
Key Words: Newborn screening , Tandam mass screening , Quality control

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