May 13 2015
The journal Pediatrics has published a new study estimating the number of infants with critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) potentially detected or missed through universal screening for CCHDs using pulse oximetry. CDC researchers estimated that about 1,755 infants with critical CHDs would be diagnosed late (meaning on or after the third day after birth). Of these, about half (875 infants) with a critical CHD would be detected through newborn screening using pulse oximetry, but an equal number (880 infants) might still be missed each year in the United States. These findings might be useful for states and hospitals that are using pulse oximetry screening to help detect infants with undiagnosed critical CHDs. To read the full article, click here.
- About 5,965 infants were estimated to be born each year with a CCHD in the United States. Of those, about:
- 1,800 infants would be diagnosed with a CCHD before they were born (prenatally diagnosed);
- 2,410 infants would have a timely postnatal diagnosis (within 3 days of birth) of a CCHD, likely due to the onset of symptoms before undergoing newborn screening by pulse oximetry; and
- 1,755 infants would have a “late” diagnosis (diagnosed on or after the third day after birth) of a CCHD.
- About 875 of the 1,755 infants with a CCHD that are estimated to be at risk of late detection would be identified through CCHD screening using pulse oximetry, including about:
- 110 infants with transposition of the great arteries;
- 160 infants with tetralogy of Fallot; and
- 315 infants with coarctation of the aorta or interrupted aortic arch.
- Screening would not detect all infants with a CCHD at risk for late detection. About 880 of the 1,755 infants with a late diagnosed CCHD were estimated to be missed through CCHD screening using pulse oximetry, including about:
- 245 infants with tetralogy of Fallot; and
- 560 infants with coarctation of the aorta or interrupted aortic arch.
- The effectiveness of CCHD screening using pulse oximetry depends on several factors, including:
- the number of babies born each year with a specific CCHD type,
- how many babies are diagnosed before birth, and
- how well the screening technology can detect a specific type of CCHD.
- Because of this, the majority of infants who can benefit from CCHD screening using pulse oximetry are those infants with coarctation of the aorta or interrupted aortic arch, tetralogy of Fallot, and transposition of the great arteries.
- However, these are the same CCHD types that might not be detected with pulse oximetry screening.
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