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Open access

Mojca Zerjav Tansek, Ana Bertoncel, Brina Sebez, Janez Zibert, Urh Groselj, Tadej Battelino, and Magdalena Avbelj Stefanija

Despite recent improvements in the composition of the diet, lower mineral bone density and overweight tendencies are incoherently described in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). The impact of dietary factors and plasma phenylalanine levels on growth, BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density was investigated in our cohort of patients with hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) with or without dietary treatment. The anthropometric, metabolic, BMI and other nutritional indicators and bone mineral density were compared between the group of 96 treated patients with PKU (58 classic PKU (cPKU) and 38 patients with moderate-mild PKU defined as non-classic PKU (non-cPKU)) and the untreated group of 62 patients with benign HPA. Having compared the treated and untreated groups, there were normal outcomes and no statistically significant differences in BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density. Lower body height standard deviation scores were observed in the treated as compared to the untreated group (P < 0.001), but the difference was not significant when analyzing patients older than 18 years; however, cPKU adults were shorter compared to non-cPKU treated adults (P = 0.012). Interestingly, the whole-body fat was statistically higher in non-cPKU as compared to cPKU patients. In conclusion, the dietary treatment ensured adequate nutrition without significant consequences in BMI, body composition, and bone mineral density. A low protein diet may have delayed the growth in childhood, but the treated patients gained a normal final height. Mild untreated hyperphenylalaninemia characteristic for benign HPA had no negative physiological effect on bone mineral density.

Open access

Luca Persani, Martine Cools, Stamatina Ioakim, S Faisal Ahmed, Silvia Andonova, Magdalena Avbelj-Stefanija, Federico Baronio, Jerome Bouligand, Hennie T Bruggenwirth, Justin H Davies, Elfride De Baere, Iveta Dzivite-Krisane, Paula Fernandez-Alvarez, Alexander Gheldof, Claudia Giavoli, Claus H Gravholt, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Anders Juul, Csilla Krausz, Kristina Lagerstedt-Robinson, Ruth McGowan, Uta Neumann, Antonio Novelli, Xavier Peyrassol, Leonidas A Phylactou, Julia Rohayem, Philippe Touraine, Dineke Westra, Valeria Vezzoli, and Raffaella Rossetti

Differences of sex development and maturation (SDM) represent a heterogeneous puzzle of rare conditions with a large genetic component whose management and treatment could be improved by an accurate classification of underlying molecular conditions, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) should represent the most appropriate approach. Therefore, we conducted a survey dedicated to the use and potential outcomes of NGS for SDM disorders diagnosis among the 53 health care providers (HCP) of the European Reference Network for rare endocrine conditions. The response rate was 49% with a total of 26 HCPs from 13 countries. All HCPs, except 1, performed NGS investigations for SDM disorders on 6720 patients, 3764 (56%) with differences of sex development (DSD), including 811 unexplained primary ovarian insufficiency, and 2956 (44%) with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH). The approaches varied from targeted analysis of custom gene panels (range: 11–490 genes) in 81.5% of cases or whole exome sequencing with the extraction of a virtual panel in the remaining cases. These analyses were performed for diagnostic purposes in 21 HCPs, supported by the National Health Systems in 16 cases. The likelihood of finding a variant ranged between 7 and 60%, mainly depending upon the number of analysed genes or criteria used for reporting, most HCPs also reporting variants of uncertain significance. These data illustrate the status of genetic diagnosis of DSD and CHH across Europe. In most countries, these analyses are performed for diagnostic purposes, yielding highly variable results, thus suggesting the need for harmonization and general improvements of NGS approaches.