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J Inherit Metab Dis. 1992;15(5):687-95.

An occipito-temporal syndrome in adolescents with optimally controlled hyperphenylalaninaemia.

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John F. Kennedy Institute, Glostrup, Denmark.


The study included 16 adolescents with optimally controlled hyperphenylalaninaemia (McKusick 26160), of whom six did not require treatment according to conventional criteria. All except the two patients with lowest median serum phenylalanine level throughout childhood (most values at 200-300 mumol/L) had white matter abnormalities detectable with magnetic resonance imaging. The lesions were particularly prominent in the watershed regions between the posterior and middle cerebral arteries. In most patients with moderate or severe hyperphenylalaninaemia frontal white matter lesions were present as well. Normal proton magnetic resonance spectra indicated that the lesions were stable. Occipital EEG abnormalities were frequent, and deficient performance on a pattern-recognition test was a characteristic neuropsychological finding. Serum phenylalanine levels at about 300 mumol/L or below throughout childhood and early adolescence may be required to avoid lesions. The present study demonstrates the limitations of even an optimally controlled dietary regimen in hyperphenylalaninaemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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