Development of a practical dietitian road map for the nutritional management of phenylketonuria (PKU) patients on pegvaliase

Júlio César Rocha, Heather Bausell, Amaya Bélanger-Quintana, Laurie Bernstein, Hülya Gökmen-Özel, Alexandra Jung, Anita MacDonald, Fran Rohr, Esther van Dam, Margret Heddrich-Ellerbrok

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Background: The metabolic dietitian/nutritionist (hereafter ‘dietitian’) plays an essential role in the nutritional management of patients with phenylketonuria (PKU), including those on pegvaliase. Currently, more educational support and clinical experience is needed to ensure that dietitians are prepared to provide optimal nutritional management and counselling of pegvaliase-treated patients. Methods: Via a face-to-face data-review meeting, followed by a virtual consolidation meeting, a group of expert dietitians and one paediatrician discussed and developed a series of recommendations on the nutritional evaluation and management of patients receiving pegvaliase. The consensus group consisted of 10 PKU experts: six dietitians and one paediatrician from Europe and three dietitians from the US. One European and three US dietitians had experience with pegvaliase-treated patients. Results: The consensus group recommended that a physician, dietitian and nurse are part of the pegvaliase treatment team. Additionally, a psychologist/counsellor should be included if available. Practical proposals for the nutritional evaluation of pegvaliase-treated patients at baseline, during the induction and titration phases and for long-term maintenance were developed. The consensus group suggested assessment of blood Phe at least monthly or every 2 weeks in the event of low blood Phe (i.e., blood Phe <30 μmol/L). It may be appropriate to increase blood Phe monitoring when adjusting protein intake and/or pegvaliase dose. It was recommended that natural protein intake is increased by 10–20 g increments if blood Phe concentrations decrease to <240 μmol/L in patients who are not meeting the dietary reference intake for natural protein of 0.8 g/kg. It was proposed that with pegvaliase treatment blood Phe levels could be maintained <240 μmol/L but more evidence on the safety of achieving physiological blood Phe levels is necessary before any recommendation on the lower blood Phe target can be given. Finally, both patients and dietitians should have access to educational resources to optimally support patients receiving pegvaliase. Conclusion: This practical road map aims to provide initial recommendations for dietitians monitoring patients with PKU prescribed pegvaliase. Given that practical experience with pegvaliase is still limited, nutritional recommendations will require regular updating once more evidence is available and clinical experience evolves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100771
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Dietitian
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritionist
  • Pegvaliase
  • Phenylalanine
  • Phenylketonuria
  • PKU


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