08:25 AM

Doctors Improve Newborn Care With Genetic Testing

Early results from a pilot program funded by the National Institutes of Health show that fast-acting genetic testing can influence the way doctors care for critically ill infants - even if the diagnosis means moving them to end-of-life care and support.

Researchers at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, made this discovery in a study released Monday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine and presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting. They used STAT-Seq, a genetic sequencing technology developed by the hospital's Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine that delivers results in 50 hours. This speed is crucial to doctors caring for gravely ill infants, allowing them to alter their approach to care when needed. Before this technology, genetic sequencing took weeks or months. 

Participants in the study were families who were informed of the research and opted in, and who had an infant younger than 4 months with an acute illness of suspected genetic cause. Researchers sequenced genes for both infants and their parents.

Read more via U.S. News and World Report