Background: Long-term follow-up is urgently needed to decide on the consequences of new therapies.
Objective: This study assesses the use of a national child development screening program for a follow-up examination of a defined patient group.
Patients and methods: Neurodevelopmental outcome of 139 survivors after intrauterine laser coagulation for severe twin-twin transfusion syndrome was investigated both according to a standardized neurodevelopmental follow-up and according to the pediatricians' screening examinations.
Results: Screening and standardized tests revealed identical results in 90.6% of the cases. Using the national screening program only four out of 139 children (2.9%) with minor neurological disabilities would have been missed. For identifying mild or severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities the screening has a sensivity of 78% and a specifity of 93%. The positive predictive value is 61% and the negative predictive value 97%.
Conclusions: The use of already available and established follow-up programs for extended follow-up studies would considerably reduce costs, time and manpower.