MDCH Begins Pilot Project To Expand Newborn Screenings: Screenings Now Include 29 New Disorders

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

May 26, 2005

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has initiated a statewide pilot project to expand newborn screening in Michigan from the current panel of 11 disorders to include dozens of other genetic disorders. Newborn screenings conducted on all infants in Michigan now include an additional 29 fatty acid oxidation and organic acid disorders.

“Our newborn screening project saves lives annually,” said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. “Without the newborn screening program statewide, dozens of children across the state would experience a lower quality of life. This pilot program has the potential to save dozens more, or at minimum, considerably improve treatment of genetic disorders.”

The purpose of the project is to evaluate the feasibility of detecting the disorders early, and to ensure appropriate follow-up systems are in place to manage diagnosis and treatment, Olszewski said.

 Any child who tests positive for any one of the 40 disorders now is immediately referred to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Metabolic Clinic in Detroit. Because families are notified quickly when a positive diagnosis occurs, treatment often begins in hospitals before mother and child are sent home. The dry blood spot screening panel conducted on all newborns in the state of Michigan currently includes:

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
  • Galactosemia
  • Biotinidase Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
  • Medium-Chain Acyl-Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase (MCAD) Deficiency
  • Homocystinuria
  • Citrullinemia
  • Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA)

Michigan conducted more than 127,000 newborn screenings on all infants born in 2004. A complete listing on the new disorders covered under the pilot program is featured on