Normal clinical outcome in untreated subjects with mild hyperphenylalaninemia.

Weglage, J; Pietsch, M; Feldmann, R; Koch, H G; Zschocke, J; Hoffmann, G; Muntau-Heger, A; Denecke, J; Guldberg, P; Güttler, F; Möller, H; Wendel, U; Ullrich, K; Harms, E; (2001) Normal clinical outcome in untreated subjects with mild hyperphenylalaninemia. Pediatric research, 49 (4). pp. 532-6. ISSN 0031-3998

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ABSTRACT There is international consensus that patients with phenylalanine (Phe) levels <360 microM on a free diet do not need Phe-lowering dietary treatment whereas patients with levels >600 microM do. Clinical outcome of patients showing Phe levels between 360 and 600 microM in serum on a free nutrition has so far only been assessed in a small number of cases. Therefore, different recommendations exist for patients with mild hyperphenylalaninemia. We investigated in a nationwide study 31 adolescent and adult patients who persistently displayed serum Phe levels between 360 and 600 microM on a normal nutrition with a corresponding genotype. Because of limited accuracy of measurements, Phe levels should be looked on as an approximation, but not as an absolute limit in every instance. In addition to serum Phe levels, the assessment program consisted of comprehensive psychological testing, magnetic resonance imaging of the head, (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and genotyping. We found a normal intellectual (intelligence quotient, 103 +/- 15; range, 79-138) and educational (school performance and job career) outcome in these subjects as compared with healthy control subjects (intelligence quotient, 104 +/- 11; range, 80-135). Magnetic resonance imaging revealed no changes of cerebral white matter in any patient, and (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed brain Phe levels below the limit of detection (<200 microM). In the absence of any demonstrable effect, dietary treatment is unlikely to be of value in patients with mild hyperphenylalaninemia and serum Phe levels <600 microM on a free nutrition, and should no longer be recommended. Because of a possible late-onset phenylketonuria, Phe levels of untreated patients should be monitored carefully at least during the first year of life. Nevertheless, problems of maternal phenylketonuria should still be taken into account.

Item Type: Article
PubMed ID: 11264437


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