Management of adult patients with phenylketonuria: survey results from 24 countries
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Phenylketonuria (PKU) is no longer considered merely a pediatric concern; current guidelines recommend life-long treatment. However, information on the adult PKU patient population is scarce. A survey was initiated on behalf of the European PKU Group (EPG) that focused specifically on early-treated adult patients diagnosed by neonatal screening. The online survey was sent via email to 204 healthcare professionals (HCPs) in 33 countries. Eighty-one HCPs from 24 countries responded. The main findings were that the majority of adult patients with PKU in active follow-up are under 30 years of age and are managed in centers that also treat children. Seventy-eight percent of adult PKU patients in follow-up receive treatment, mainly by diet (71 %), with BH4 treatment rarely used in adulthood. Only 26 % of responding HCPs perform routine neurocognitive testing in all their adult patients. There was little consensus regarding target blood phenylalanine (Phe) concentrations, although the majority of respondents reported that their patients achieved blood Phe concentrations below 1200 μmol/l.
Conclusion: This survey highlights the need for blood Phe concentration target recommendations and consensus guidelines, more research into adult PKU patient management, and the need to identify those patients lost to follow-up to ensure PKU is managed for life.
KeywordsPhenylketonuria Phenylalanine Survey Adults Diet
Inherited metabolic disease
This study was sponsored by Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The authors would like to thank Physicians World Europe GmbH (supported by Merck Serono a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) for data analyses and editorial assistance, and their PKU colleagues that took the time to respond to the survey for their valuable support of this project.
Conflict of interests
All authors apart from Mübeccel Demirkol and Christoph Gasteyger are members of the European PKU Group (EPG), an Advisory Board to Merck Serono. Christoph Gasteyger was an employee of Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Anita MacDonald and Amaya Belanger-Quintana are members of the European Nutritionist Expert Panel in PKU (ENEP), an Advisory Board to Merck Serono. Anita MacDonald and Francjan J. van Spronsen provide consultancy to Danone. Anita MacDonald also receives research support from Vitaflo.
All authors contributed to the conception, design, analysis and interpretation of the content, manuscript preparation, and revision and have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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