Aromatic L-amino Acid Decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency: results from an Italian modified Delphi consensus

the Delphi panel experts’ group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency is a rare and underdiagnosed neurometabolic disorder resulting in a complex neurological and non-neurological phenotype, posing diagnostic challenges resulting in diagnostic delay. Due to the low number of patients, gathering high-quality scientific evidence on diagnosis and treatment is difficult. Additionally, based on the estimated prevalence, the number of undiagnosed patients is likely to be high. Methods: Italian experts in AADC deficiency formed a steering committee to engage clinicians in a modified Delphi consensus to promote discussion, and support research, dissemination and awareness on this disorder. Five experts in the field elaborated six main topics, each subdivided into 4 statements and invited 13 clinicians to give their anonymous feedback. Results: 100% of the statements were answered and a consensus was reached at the first round. This enabled the steering committee to acknowledge high rates of agreement between experts on clinical presentation, phenotypes, diagnostic work-up and treatment strategies. A research gap was identified in the lack of standardized cognitive and motor outcome data. The need for setting up an Italian working group and a patients’ association, together with the dissemination of knowledge inside and outside scientific societies in multiple medical disciplines were recognized as critical lines of intervention. Conclusions: The panel expressed consensus with high rates of agreement on a series of statements paving the way to disseminate clear messages concerning disease presentation, diagnosis and treatment and strategic interventions to disseminate knowledge at different levels. Future lines of research were also identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages6
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • AADC deficiency
  • Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency
  • Delphi consensus
  • Delphi method
  • Metabolic disease
  • Neurometabolic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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