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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Titrating a modified ketogenic diet for patients with McArdle disease: A pilot study

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Glycogen storage disease type V (GSDV) is a rare inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism. Patients present with exercise intolerance due to blocked glycogen breakdown in skeletal muscle. Introducing alternative fuel substrates, such as ketone bodies (KBs), could potentially alleviate muscle symptoms. This pilot study investigates which of three different modified ketogenic diet regimes is optimal for GSDV-patients to follow in a future large-scale study. Participants were randomised to follow one of three diet regimes for 3 weeks (#1: 65%/15%/20%; #2: 75%/15%/10%, or #3: 80%/15%/5%, fat/protein/carbohydrate). The primary outcome was exercise tolerance assessed by heart rate (HR) changes during constant load cycling. Secondary outcomes included levels of ketosis, and changes in perceived exertion and indirect calorimetry measures during exercise. Ten GSDV-patients were included. Eight completed the study. The other two were excluded. Diet #3 showed the highest average KB level (1.1 mmol/L) vs #2 (0.5 mmol/L) and #1 (0.3 mmol/L). Five patients reported subjective symptom relief, all of whom were on diets #2 and #3. All diet regimes seemed to improve fatty acid oxidation rates and exercise capacity as indicated by a small decrease in HR and perceived exertion. The results of this open-label pilot study show that diets #2 and #3 induce ketosis and improve symptoms and exercise capacity in GSDV-patients. Diet #2 had the highest acceptability score and was superior or equal to diet #3 in all other parameters, except level of ketosis. Based on this, we suggest testing diet #2 in a large-scale, placebo-controlled study in GSDV.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)778-786
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • glycogen storage disease type V, GSDV, ketogenic diet, ketone bodies, McArdle disease, modified ketogenic diet

ID: 61074895