Newborn Metabolic Screening Program

Information for Parents & Guardians

Babies born in Alberta are tested for certain treatable conditions shortly after birth. This test is different from those done during pregnancy. Using a quick heel poke, drops of blood are collected on a special card and tested for 21 treatable conditions.

This test, called newborn blood spot screening, is the best way to find out if your baby has a certain treatable condition that you, your doctor, or your midwife might not know about. Screening is provided by Alberta Health Services (AHS) through Alberta’s Newborn Metabolic Screening (NMS) Program.

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About Alberta’s NMS Program

Alberta’s NMS Program is a province-wide screening program offered to all babies born in Alberta by AHS. The program works to prevent health problems, improve newborn health and save lives of Alberta newborns through early diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions, including:

Conditions that affect how the body uses food to grow and develop. These are known as metabolic conditions.

  • Biotinidase deficiency (BIOT)
  • Carnitine uptake defect (CUD)
  • Citrullinemia (CIT)
  • Glutaric acidemia type 1 (GA1)
  • Classic galactosemia (GALT)*
  • Isovaleric acidemia (IVA)
  • Long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (LCHAD)
  • Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)
  • Medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency
  • Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Propionic acidemia (PA)
  • Tri-functional protein (TFP) deficiency
  • Tyrosinemia Type 1 (TYR1)*
  • Very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency
  • 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase (HMG) deficiency

Conditions that affect how the body makes hormones. These are known as endocrine conditions.

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (CH)

Cystic fibrosis (CF), a condition that affects the lungs and digestive system.

Sickle cell disease (SCD)*, a condition that affects the baby’s blood and how it carries oxygen in the body.

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a condition that affects the body’s ability to fight infections and germs. SCID was added on May 31st, 2019.

*Added on April 1st, 2019

Visit the NMS Program’s service listing to learn more about the program and to find out where screening is available.