The effects of environmental temperature on newborn screening results for galactosemia are well known amongst biochemical geneticists. However, environmental effects on many other aspects of the newborn screen are not commonly known. Golbahar et al (J Med Screen, 2014, Feb) studied the effect of heat and humidity on acylcarnitines and amino acids on dried blood spots over a storage period of 8 days. They found that at high temperature and humidity, most acylcarnitines and amino acids lost almost 50% of their initial concentration. The group concluded that low humidity and low temperature conditions are required for transportation and storage of dried blood spots, which has particular implications for newborn screening programs in regions of the world where high humidity and temperature are common environmental conditions.
Hilary Vernon, MD PhD