Bone and joint complications related to Gaucher disease

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2000 Apr;2(2):175-80. doi: 10.1007/s11926-000-0059-x.


There is a broad spectrum of Gaucher disease-related skeletal complications, ranging from asymptomatic osteopenia to osteonecrosis (of the shoulders and hips) with secondary degenerative joint disease. Characterization of the pattern and severity of bone involvement in the individual patient requires the application of conventional and advanced radiographic techniques. The introduction of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for this inborn error of glycosphingolipid metabolism has focused great interest in determining the nature and extent of the bone responses with this mode of treatment. The multifactorial etiology of the bone complications necessitates a multifaceted approach, combining pharmacologic strategies with physical therapy and orthopedic intervention. As bone disease can lead to chronic pain and debility with a resultant adverse impact on quality of life, it is important that patients be monitored closely and that early intervention with ERT prior to established bone disease (infarction and fibrosis) be considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnosis
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Gaucher Disease / complications*
  • Gaucher Disease / diagnosis*
  • Gaucher Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnosis
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis / etiology*
  • Osteonecrosis / diagnosis
  • Osteonecrosis / epidemiology
  • Osteonecrosis / etiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment