Genet Med 2004 Mar-Apr;6(2):96-101
Ross Products Division, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio 43215, USA.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine the incidence of iron deficiency in children undergoing therapy for phenylketonuria using serum transferrin receptor and ferritin concentrations.
Methods: A 1-year study was conducted in 37 children 2 <13 years old with phenylketonuria (8 fed Periflex [Group I], 15 fed Phenex-2 Amino Acid-Modified Medical Food [Group II], and 14 fed Phenyl-Free [Group III]). Hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum transferrin receptor, and ferritin concentrations were assessed at baseline and 12 months and intakes of protein, iron, and vitamin C were evaluated at baseline and at 3-month intervals. Transferrin receptor and ferritin concentrations were analyzed for group differences by analysis of variance.
Results: Mean protein, iron, and vitamin C intakes of all 3 groups of children were greater than Recommended Dietary Intakes for age. Only 2 of 60 3-day diet diaries of Group II children failed to contain 100% of Recommended Dietary Intakes for iron during study. The following number of children had iron status indices outside reference ranges at study end: 7 children, transferrin receptor/ferritin ratios; 4 children, transferrin receptors; 2 children, hematocrit; 1 child, ferritin. No correlation was found between iron intake and any index of iron status.
Conclusions: The transferrin receptor/ferritin ratio appeared to be the most sensitive index of iron deficiency in this study. Reasons for iron deficiency with greater than recommended iron intakes by children with phenylketonuria may be multiple. Early assessment and therapy of iron deficiency may improve cognitive and behavioral outcomes of children with PKU.