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Newborn screening for medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  1. J V Leonard1,
  2. C Dezateux2
  1. 1
    Clinical and Molecular Genetics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2
    MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Professor J V Leonard, 40A Bagley Wood Road, Kennington, Oxford OX1 5LY, UK; J.Leonard{at}


Medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) is an uncommon inborn error of fatty acid oxidation that is a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Newborn screening for MCADD has been introduced in many centres worldwide and in this review we outline what the clinician needs to know. In most screening programmes a positive screening test has a high predictive value, but the diagnosis should always be confirmed independently. The basic treatment is dietary: avoid fasting and ensure a high carbohydrate intake during any illness. Careful attention to detail is essential as the long term outcome is only as good as the frontline clinical management.

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  • Funding: CD was the principal investigator of the UK Collaborative Study of Newborn Screening for MCADD which was funded by the Department of Health. JVL chaired the Diagnostic Review Panel for this study. This work was undertaken at GOSH/UCL Institute of Child Health which received a proportion of its funding from the Department of Health’s NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme. The Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics also benefits from funding support from the Medical Research Council in its capacity as the MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health.

  • Competing interests: None.