Carrier screening for cystic fibrosis as part of reproductive health care, including prenatal care, is not the standard of practice at this time. However, a recent National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference recommended that cystic fibrosis carrier screening should be offered to adults with a family history of cystic fibrosis, partners of individuals with cystic fibrosis, couples planning a pregnancy, and couples seeking prenatal testing. A workshop convened to discuss the implementation of these recommendations concluded that several issues must be resolved before these recommendations can be implemented. This commentary reviews the discussions that occurred and the conclusions that were reached at this workshop. Some of the subjects considered by the workshop participants were: the goals and outcomes of carrier screening; the continuum from making a test available to offering that test; to whom, when, and how cystic fibrosis testing should be offered; laboratory practice and quality assurance; provider and patient education; and insurance issues. The workshop participants concluded that those populations to whom carrier screening should be offered might include individuals and couples in high-risk groups who seek preconception counseling, infertility care, or prenatal care. High- risk groups include individuals of white northern European or of Ashkenazi- Jewish descent, those whose partners have cystic fibrosis, and those with a family history of cystic fibrosis. Before screening can be offered systematically to these individuals or couples, practice guidelines, educational materials for providers and patients, informed-consent protocols, and laboratory standards for testing must be developed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology