Objectives: We developed recommendations for the clinical management of poor growth and weight gain in Rett syndrome through evidence review and the consensus of an expert panel of clinicians.
Methods: Initial draft recommendations were created based upon literature review and 34 open-ended questions in which the literature was lacking. Statements and questions were made available to an international, multidisciplinary panel of clinicians in an online format and a Microsoft Word-formatted version of the draft via e-mail. Input was sought using a 2-stage modified Delphi process to reach consensus. Items included clinical assessment of growth, anthropometry, feeding difficulties and management to increase energy intake, decrease feeding difficulties, and consideration of gastrostomy.
Results: Agreement was achieved on 101 of 112 statements. A comprehensive approach to the management of poor growth in Rett syndrome is recommended that takes into account factors such as feeding difficulties and nutritional needs. A body mass index of approximately the 25th centile can be considered as a reasonable target in clinical practice. Gastrostomy is indicated for extremely poor growth, if there is risk of aspiration and if feeding times are prolonged.
Conclusions: These evidence- and consensus-based recommendations have the potential to improve care of nutrition and growth in a rare condition and stimulate research to improve the present limited evidence base.