Management of adult patients with phenylketonuria: Survey results from 24 countries

Friedrich K. Trefz*, Francjan J. van Spronsen, Anita MacDonald, Francois Feillet, Ania C. Muntau, Amaya Belanger-Quintana, Alberto Burlina, Muebeccel Demirkol, Marcello Giovannini, Christoph Gasteyger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


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 mu mol/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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015


  • Phenylketonuria
  • Phenylalanine
  • Survey
  • Adults
  • Diet
  • PKU

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