The UK NSC recommendation on Medium Chain Acyl CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (MCADD) screening in newborns (currently under review)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Dec 2015 and is estimated to be completed by Feb 2017.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme recommended
Key downloads

Evidence to support continuation or cessation of existing screening programmes should be reviewed regularly. The process for this is currently being revised, which is why this topic does not currently have a review date. The new process will be published in due course. Each programme has an active portfolio of research, evidence and audit to support continual improvement. Find out more about MCADD screening, as part of the newborn blood spot screening programme in England.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about MCADD

Fatty acids are one of the body's fuels: oxidation is the process by which they are broken down to release energy. This process has many steps, each catalysed by a different enzyme. Fatty acid oxidation (FAO) disorders result from deficiency of one of these enzymes.

MCADD is the commonest FAO disorder, affecting between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 20,000 newborn babies.

Patients with MCADD deficiency are healthy most of the time. Infections or prolonged fasting, however, can lead to drowsiness and coma or sudden death. MCADD is treated through dietary management.

Further information about MCADD and its management can be found in the "Newborn screening for medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency" article, which can be downloaded from the 'related documents' section on this page.

» Read more about MCADD on NHS Choices

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


British Association of Perinatal Medicine
British Dietetic Association
British Inherited Metabolic Disease Group
The British Society for Human Genetics
Clinical Genetics Society
Faculty of Public Health
Genetic Alliance UK
Institute of Child Health
Metabolic Support UK
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Save Babies Through Screening Foundation UK
Specialised Healthcare Alliance

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Recommendation Review History

On 7 February 2007, the English Health Minister announced that all newborn babies in England are to be offered screening for MCADD by March 2009.

As of February 2009, all babies in England are offered screening for MCADD and a reception was held in March 2009 at the Houses of Parliament to launch this successful implementation. See the UCL Institute of Child Health press release.

The full report into prevalence, predictive value and test validity of screening for MCADD, based on 1.5 million babies, was published in 2011 and can be found here.  

Related documents

icon MCADD Pilot Study Summary (PDF document, 119KB, 22/01/15)

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