Consensus recommendations for the classification and long-term follow up of infants who screen positive for Krabbe Disease.



To provide updated evidence and consensus-based recommendations for the classification of individuals who screen positive for Krabbe Disease (KD) and recommendations for long-term follow-up for those who are at risk for late onset Krabbe Disease (LOKD).


KD experts (KD NBS Council) met between July 2017 and June 2020 to develop consensus-based classification and follow-up recommendations. The resulting newly proposed recommendations were assessed in a historical cohort of 47 newborns from New York State who were originally classified at moderate or high risk for LOKD.


Infants identified by newborn screening with possible KD should enter one of three clinical follow-up pathways (Early infantile KD, at-risk for LOKD, or unaffected), based on galactocerebrosidase (GALC) activity, psychosine concentration, and GALC genotype. Patients considered at-risk for LOKD based on low GALC activity and an intermediate psychosine concentration are further split into a high-risk or low-risk follow-up pathway based on genotype. Review of the historical New York State cohort found that the updated follow-up recommendations would reduce follow up testing by 88%.


The KD NBS Council has presented updated consensus recommendations for efficient and effective classification and follow-up of NBS positive patients with a focus on long-term follow-up of those at-risk for LOKD.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Thompson-Stone, Robert, Margie A Ream, Michael Gelb, Dietrich Matern, Joseph J Orsini, Paul A Levy, Jennifer P Rubin, David A Wenger, et al. (2021). Consensus recommendations for the classification and long-term follow up of infants who screen positive for Krabbe Disease. Molecular genetics and metabolism, 134(1-2). pp. 53–59. 10.1016/j.ymgme.2021.03.016 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Joanne Kurtzberg

Jerome S. Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, and novel applications of cord blood and birthing tissues in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.   Dr. Kurtzberg serves as the Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3), Director of the Pediatric Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke University.  The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank is an FDA licensed public cord blood bank distributing unrelated cord blood units for donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) through the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.  The Robertson GMP Cell Manufacturing Laboratory supports manufacturing of RETHYMIC (BLA, Enzyvant, 2021), allogeneic cord tissue derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and DUOC, a microglial/macrophage cell derived from cord blood.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s research in MC3 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside, seeking to develop transformative clinical therapies using cells, tissues, molecules, genes, and biomaterials to treat diseases and injuries that currently lack effective treatments. Recent areas of investigation in MC3 include clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of autologous and allogeneic cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury – hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and autism. Clinical trials testing allogeneic cord blood are also being conducted in adults with acute ischemic stroke. Clinical trials optimizing manufacturing and testing the safety and efficacy of cord tissue MSCs in children with autism, CP and HIE and adults with COVID-lung disease are underway. DUOC, given intrathecally, is under study in children with leukodystrophies and adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

In the past, Dr. Kurtzberg has developed novel chemotherapeutic drugs for acute leukemias, assays enumerating ALDH bright cells to predict cord blood unit potency, methods of cord blood expansion, potency assays for targeted cell and tissue based therapies. Dr. Kurtzberg currently holds several INDs for investigational clinical trials from the FDA.  She has also trained numerous medical students, residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows over the course of her career.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.