Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Blood concentrations of pancreatitis associated protein in neonates: relevance to neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis


AIM To determine whether pancreatitis associated protein (PAP) is a marker for cystic fibrosis which could be used in neonatal screening for the disease.

METHODS PAP was assayed on screening cards from 202 807 neonates. Babies with PAP ⩾ 15 ng/ml, or ⩾ 11.5 ng/ml and immunoreactive trypsinogen (IRT) ⩾ 700 ng/ml were recalled for clinical examination, sweat testing, and cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene analysis.

RESULTS Median PAP value was 2.8 ng/ml. Forty four cases of cystic fibrosis were recorded. Recalled neonates (n=398) included only 11 carriers. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that PAP above 8.0 ng/ml would select 0.76% of babies, including all those with cystic fibrosis, except for one with meconium ileus and two with mild CFTR mutations. Screening 27 146 babies with both PAP and IRT showed that only 0.12% had PAP > 8.0 ng/ml and IRT > 700 ng/ml, including all cases of cystic fibrosis.

CONCLUSION PAP is increased in most neonates with cystic fibrosis and could be used for CF screening. Its combination with IRT looks promising.

  • CF neonatal screening with PAP is technically feasible in the same environment as other neonatal screenings (PKU, hypothyroidism)

  • CF neonatal screening with PAP alone performs similarly to screening with IRT alone, with less carrier detection

  • Combining PAP with IRT for CF neonatal screening could be as efficient as the IRT/DNA strategy, but would be cheaper and incur limited carrier detection

  • If a legal requirement for informed consent before DNA testing has expired, the PAP/IRT strategy would be an alternative to the IRT/DNA strategy

  • cystic fibrosis
  • screening
  • pancreatitis associated protein

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.