Highlights From the Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting

Siobhan Dolan, MD


April 07, 2003

In This Article

Update on CF Screening

In October 2001, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) published clinical guidelines for implementing CF screening. ACMG is evaluating the implementation of these CF screening guidelines and surveying its members about the progress of implementing the new guidelines.

The guidelines are taken from the brochure entitled Preconception and Prenatal Carrier Screening for Cystic Fibrosis: Clinical and Laboratory Guidelines, which was published by ACOG and ACMG in Washington, DC, in October 2001.[1] This brochure can be ordered online at: http://sales.acog.com/acb/ stores/1/product1.cfm?SID=1 &Product_ID=245.

The practicing ob/gyn is now responsible for offering screening to the following patients before conception or during prenatal care:

  • Individuals with a history of CF

  • Reproductive partners of individuals who have CF

  • Couples with 1 or both partners of European Caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish descent

Patient education brochures entitled CF Carrier Testing: The Decision is Yours and CF Testing: What Happens If Both My Partner and I Are Carriers? are available from ACOG at http://sales.acog.com.

Further information about screening guidelines for CF is available from the American College of Medical Genetics at: http://www.acmg.net/resources/policies/pol-005.asp.

A poster presented at this year's meeting from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Air Force Medical Genetics Center described an education and genetic screening protocol for CF that is applicable for general prenatal screening.[2] In the protocol, all prenatal patients, totaling 856, at the Air Force Medical Genetics Center in Biloxi, Mississippi, received counseling about screening for CF. Two modes of delivery were studied. One set of 432 patients received group genetic counseling using a slide presentation from a genetic professional. A second group of 445 patients received group genetic counseling presented by an audiovisual voice-over presentation only. The results indicated that 59% of patients accepted screening. Of these, 68% were Caucasian and 42% were primiparous. Patients in both study groups demonstrated improved knowledge on pre and post-test counseling. The authors conclude that audiovisual counseling is an effective means of educating patients about prenatal CF screening, which does not require a trained genetic professional to administer.


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