Patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) must follow a strict low-phenylalanine (Phe) diet in order to minimise the potentially disabling neuropsychological sequelae of the disorder. Research in this area has unsurprisingly focussed largely on managing blood Phe concentrations to protect the brain. Protein requirements in dietary management of PKU are met mostly from Phe-free protein substitutes with the intake of natural protein restricted to patient tolerance. Several reports have suggested that growth in early childhood in PKU is sub-optimal, relative to non-PKU control groups or reference populations. We reviewed the literature searching for evidence regarding PKU and growth as well as possible links between dietary management of PKU and growth. The search retrieved only limited evidence on the effect of PKU and its dietary management on growth. Physical development in PKU remains an understudied aspect of this disorder. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.