Newborn PKU screening in Turkey: at present and organization for future

Turk J Pediatr. Apr-Jun 2001;43(2):97-101.


At present, pkenylketonuria screening is a national child health program in Turkey which is carried out collaboratively by the Ministry of Health and three University Children's Hospitals in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir. Since 1986 the number of cities included in the screening program has gradually increased, now and it covers all the metropolises the country. A total of 383 babies were found with persistent hyperphenylalaninemia (1:4,172) among 1,605,582 babies screened by the Guthrie test at the Hacettepe Screening Center in Ankara. By taking into account pretreatment phenylalanine levels and phenlyalanine tolerances at five years of age, the numbers of classical and mild-moderate phenylketonuria and mild hyperphenylalaninemia cases were 216, 102 and 58, respectively. The major problems encountered in the screening program and in management of the detected cases were unsatisfactory sample collection, early discharge from maternity hospitals, difficulties in reaching some detected cases, and noncompliance with dietary therapy due to illiterate parents or to lack of social insurance. To screen and treat all newborns for phenylketonuria and to include at least hypothyroidism in the screening program, there is a need for a more disciplinary intersectoral approach than exists at present.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening*
  • Phenylketonurias / prevention & control*
  • Turkey