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Clinical and neuropsychological outcomes for children with phenylketonuria in Upper Egypt; a single-center study over 5 years

Authors Sadek AA, Hassan MH, Mohammed NA

Received 3 June 2018

Accepted for publication 18 July 2018

Published 5 October 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2551—2561


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Video abstract presented by Abdelrahim Sadek.

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Abdelrahim A Sadek,1 Mohammed H Hassan,2 Nesreen A Mohammed3

1Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt; 2Medical Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt; 3Public Health and Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt

Background: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is considered to be a rare inborn error of metabolism but one of the commonest causes of mental retardation if untreated.
Objectives: The present study was done to characterize the clinical patterns of PKU and analyze various neuropsychiatric outcomes in PKU children in Sohag Province, Egypt.
Patients and methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted on 113 PKU patients, diagnosed during the period from 2012 to 2017, at the Pediatric Neurology Clinic of Sohag University Hospital, Upper Egypt. One hundred and ten cases were diagnosed based on clinical suspicion combined with laboratory confirmation by measuring their plasma phenylalanine levels using amino acid analyzer, while 3 cases were detected during neonatal screening. With the exception of the 3 cases detected during neonatal screening, all patients were clinically diagnosed and treated late. Psychometric evaluations of PKU patients were done using intelligence quotient (IQ, Stanford–Binet V), Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and Children’s Attention and Adjustment Survey. Dietetic management was applied. The results of neuroimaging (computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain) and electroencephalography were included when available.
Results: The overall results showed that 15.9% had hyperphenylalaninemia, 35.4% had mild to moderate PKU, and classic PKU was diagnosed in 48.7%. Global developmental delay (54.9%) and delayed language (29.2%) were the most frequent presentations. Moderately impaired or delayed overall IQ was present in 77%. While, 83.2% had moderately impaired or delayed verbal IQ, autism was diagnosed in 50.4%. Super average and average probability of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was diagnosed in 88.5%. Abnormal neuroimaging (white matter abnormalities and brain atrophy) was the most important significant predictor for poor language and motor developmental outcome (P<0.05).
Conclusion: PKU children had variable neuropsychological outcomes, mainly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and impaired verbal IQ, both of which were not related to the initial phenylalanine levels or to duration of dietary therapy, but were significantly related to early dietary intervention.

Keywords: phenylketonuria, IQ, autism, CARS, ADHD, Upper Egypt

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