Positive Screen for Krabbe Disease

If your child has just received a positive newborn screen for Krabbe Disease, call the Hunter’s Hope office at 716-667-1200 or email us at hope@huntershope.org.


Newborn Screening

Krabbe Newborn Screening

Early detection for the most aggressive form of Krabbe, Early Infantile Krabbe Disease (EIKD), is crucial. The symptoms of EIKD normally are not noticeable for the first weeks of life. For infants affected by the EIKD form of the disease, treatment must be administered as soon after birth as possible to avoid irreversible consequences. Therefore, if your child has been screened positive for Krabbe disease, it is critical that you follow up with your pediatrician immediately upon receiving the positive result.

Newborn screening looks for enzyme levels that help detect the risk of specific diseases, but does not diagnose diseases. Additional testing is necessary to better understand why your baby received a positive screen. Just because your baby received a positive screen for Krabbe does not mean that he/she has the disease. It is possible that your child had a false positive, or that they are a carrier of the disease.

False Positive – The newborn screen is intentionally very sensitive so that no affected babies will be missed. Therefore, most babies who have a positive screen will not have the disease on confirmatory testing.

Carrier – Carriers of Krabbe never show any symptoms of the disease, but could potentially pass the gene onto their future children.

It is critical to determine if your child has the Early Infantile form of the disease, because there is a treatment option (cord blood transplant) only if the disease is caught in time.