Characteristics Associated with Neonatal Carnitine Levels: A Systematic Review & Clinical Database Analysis

Title: Characteristics Associated with Neonatal Carnitine Levels: A Systematic Review & Clinical Database Analysis
Authors: Sutherland, Sarah C.
Date: 2013
Abstract: Newborn screening programs measure analyte levels in neonatal blood spots to identify individuals at high risk of disease. Carnitine and acylcarnitine levels are primary markers used in the detection of fatty acid oxidation disorders. These analytes may be influenced by certain pre/perinatal or newborn screening related factors. The primary objective of this study was to explore the association between these characteristics and levels of blood carnitines and acylcarnitines in the newborn population. The study was composed of two parts: a systematic review and a clinical database analysis of existing newborn screening data. The systematic review results suggested considerable variability across studies in the presence and directionality of associations between analyte levels and birth weight, gestational age, age at time of blood spot collection, type of sample, and storage time. Sex was not significantly associated with carnitine or acylcarnitine levels in neonatal blood. We identified a need to more fully investigate a potential interaction between gestational age and birth weight in regard to analyte levels. The secondary data analyses indicated a statistically significant relationship between analyte levels and all perinatal / infant and newborn screening related factors of interest, but effect sizes were generally small. The interaction between gestational age and birth weight was significant in all models; when further explored through graphical analysis with conditional means, extremely premature neonates stood out as having distinct analyte patterns in relation to birth weight. Variation in the ratio of total acylcarnitine to free carnitine was better accounted for by the perinatal and newborn factors than was variation in any individual carnitine or acylcarnitine, indicating that proportions of carnitine and acylcarnitines may be more important in understanding an individual’s metabolic functioning than individual analyte levels. A low proportion of variation was explained in all multivariate models, supporting the use of universal algorithms in newborn screening and suggesting the need for further large scale empirical research targeted at previously unaccounted for perinatal factors such as birth stress.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Sutherland_Sarah_C_2013_thesis.pdfMain thesis3.05 MBAdobe PDFOpen