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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1-7

Pulse oximetry screening of neonates for congenital heart disease


1 Department of Neonatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. N B Mathur
Department of Neonatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/rcm.rcm_31_17

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We tried to discuss the impact of early diagnosis on outcome of critical congenital heart diseases (CCHDs), current options, and their limitations in timely diagnosis, utility of pulse oximetry screening (POS), current recommendations for screening and challenges in resource constrained countries and to suggest further avenues to cover existing gaps. Evidence acquisition process was performed on the PubMed database and Google scholar for every available article in peer reviewed journals. Prevalence of congenital heart disease (CHD) at birth is estimated to be 8/1,000 live births. About 25% of CHDs are life threatening CCHDs. The current guidelines for POS recommend that all neonates in well newborn nurseries should preferably be screened after 24 h of life. A screen is taken to be positive, “out of range” or a fail if oxygen saturation is (i) <90%, (ii) <95% in right hand and one foot after three measurements (each taken 1 h apart), or iii) difference of >3% in preductal and postductal saturations after three measurements (each separated by 1 h). POS has a specificity of 99.9% for the detection of CCHDs. It has a false positive rate of 0.05% for the same. It is estimated that POS may be able to detect nearly 50%–70% of infants born with undiagnosed CCHDss. Opportunity and feasibility for POS is higher in the sick nursery even in the resource constrained setting where most of the well nurseries may not have availability of pulse oximeter, echocardiography and neonatal cardiothoracic surgery services. CCHDs can be detected early using POS which is a convenient, noninvasive and cost effective method. All necessary criteria required for inclusion to universal newborn screening panel are fulfilled by POS. The current POS guidelines are for asymptomatic newborns in well newborn nurseries. Evidence based guidelines are still lacking for screening infants in neonatal intensive care settings. We also propose here a protocol for POS in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


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