Abstract : The evolution of single-particle energies with varying isospin asymmetry in the shell model is an important issue when predicting changes in the shell structure for exotic nuclei. In many cases pseudospin partner levels, that are almost degenerate in energy for stable nuclei, are relevant in extracting the size of the shell gaps. A breaking of the pseudospin symmetry can affect the size of these gaps and change the magic numbers accordingly. The strength of the pseudospin splitting is expected to depend in particular on isovector-dependent and tensor contributions to the effective nuclear interaction. A description employing supersymmetric quantum mechanics allows to derive a pseudospin symmetry breaking potential that is regular in contrast to the pseudospin-orbit potential in the conventional relativistic treatment. The derived perturbation potential provides a measure to quantify the symmetry breaking and it can be employed to improve mean-field calculations in order to better reproduce the experimentally observed shell evolution. General potentials with exact pseudospin symmetry are obtained that can be used in relativistic mean-field Hamiltonians.