Screening of newborn infants for genetic disease began over 35 years ago as a public health measure to prevent mental retardation in phenylketonuria (PKU). It was so successful that tests for several other genetic disorders were added. We review the current status of this screening, including discussions of the genetic disorders often covered and the results of newborn screening for them. We emphasize recent advances. These include expansion of coverage for genetic disorders with the new methodology of tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) and the introduction of molecular (DNA) testing to increase the specificity of testing for several disorders, thereby reducing false-positive rates. These and other advances have also produced issues of criteria for screening, missed cases, and appropriate use of stored newborn specimens.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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