Sweat conductivity for diagnosing cystic fibrosis after positive newborn screening: prospective, diagnostic test accuracy study

Renata Marcos Bedran,Cristina Goncalves Alvim, Olivia Goncalves Sader, Jose Vicente Alves Junior,Fernando Henrique Pereira, Daniela Magalhaes Nolasco,Linjie Zhang,Paulo Camargos

Archives of disease in childhood(2023)

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ObjectiveTo assess the accuracy of sweat conductivity among newborns and very young infants. DesignProspective, population-based, diagnostic test accuracy study. SettingPublic Statewide Newborn Screening Programme where the incidence rate of cystic fibrosis (CF) is approximate to 1:11 000. PatientsNewborns and very young infants with positive two-tiered immunoreactive trypsinogen. InterventionsSweat conductivity and sweat chloride were performed simultaneously, on the same day and facility by independent technicians, with the cut-off values of 80 mmol/L and 60 mmol/L, respectively. Main outcome measuresSensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV), overall accuracy, positive and negative likelihood ratios (+LR, -LR) and post (sweat conductivity (SC)) test probability were calculated to assess SC performance. Results1193 participants were included, 68 with and 1108 without CF, and 17 with intermediate values. The mean (SD) age was 48 (19.2) days, ranging from 15 to 90 days. SC yielded sensitivity of 98.5% (95% CI 95.7 to 100), specificity of 99.9% (95% CI 99.7 to 100), PPV of 98.5% (95% CI 95.7 to 100) and NPV of 99.9% (95% CI 99.7 to 100), overall accuracy of 99.8% (95% CI 99.6 to 100), +LR of 1091.7 (95% CI 153.8 to 7744.9) and -LR of 0.01 (95% CI 0.00 to 0.10). After a positive and negative sweat conductivity result, the patient's probability of CF increases around 350 times and drops to virtually zero, respectively. ConclusionSweat conductivity had excellent accuracy in ruling in or ruling out CF after positive two-tiered immunoreactive trypsinogen among newborns and very young infants.
cystic fibrosis,child health services
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