, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 498-505
Date: 28 Apr 2009

Treatment recommendations in long-chain fatty acid oxidation defects: consensus from a workshop

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Published data on treatment of fatty acid oxidation defects are scarce. Treatment recommendations have been developed on the basis of observations in 75 patients with long-chain fatty acid oxidation defects from 18 metabolic centres in Central Europe. Recommendations are based on expert practice and are suggested to be the basis for further multicentre prospective studies and the development of approved treatment guidelines. Considering that disease complications and prognosis differ between different disorders of long-chain fatty acid oxidation and also depend on the severity of the underlying enzyme deficiency, treatment recommendations have to be disease-specific and depend on individual disease severity. Disorders of the mitochondrial trifunctional protein are associated with the most severe clinical picture and require a strict fat-reduced and fat-modified (medium-chain triglyceride-supplemented) diet. Many patients still suffer acute life-threatening events or long-term neuropathic symptoms despite adequate treatment, and newborn screening has not significantly changed the prognosis for these severe phenotypes. Very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency recognized in neonatal screening, in contrast, frequently has a less severe disease course and dietary restrictions in many patients may be loosened. On the basis of the collected data, recommendations are given with regard to the fat and carbohydrate content of the diet, the maximal length of fasting periods and the use of l-carnitine in long-chain fatty acid oxidation defects.

Communicating editor: Bridget Wilcken
Competing interests: None declared