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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


OLIVERI, Beatriz et al. Early diagnosis of Gaucher disease based on bone symptoms. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2020, vol.80, n.5, pp.479-486. ISSN 0025-7680.

Gaucher disease (GD) is caused by a genetic deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GCase) leading to the accumulation of glucocerebroside in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. The early diagnosis allows a prompt enzyme replacement therapy reversing cytopenias and visceromegaly and preventing irreversible bone lesions. Current diagnostic algorithms are based on well-recognized hematological manifestations. Although bone symptoms are present in 25-32% of the patients, they are not usually suspected as associated with Gaucher disease at clinical presentation. We designed an educational program aimed to give advice on the skeletal involvement in GD and a new diagnostic algorithm that considers bone symptoms to facilitate its early diagnosis (BIG project: Bone Involvement in Gaucher Disease). The study aims at describing the BIG project and the results of its application in our clinic in various cities in Argentina. Within the frame of this project, between March 2017 and December 2018, 38 dry blood spot samples from patients with bone manifestations suspected of having GD were submitted to quantification of GCase activity. One sample did not meet the inclusion criteria. Deficient GCase activity was detected in three of the remaining 37 samples. The diagnosis of GD was confirmed in two girls who presented bone manifestations of 4 and 2 years of evolution, respectively, without hematological alterations. The third patient with low enzyme activity had normal leukocyte GCase. The two newly diagnosed cases of GD show the efficacy of our dual strategy aimed to facilitate the early diagnosis of this rare disease.

Keywords : Gaucher disease; Early diagnosis; Algorithms; Glucocerebrosidase; Dried blood spot testing.

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