Evaluation of Spanish Gaucher Disease Patients After a 6-month Imiglucerase Shortage

Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2011 Jan 15;46(1):115-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Recently, an acute restriction of imiglucerase has occurred as a result of viral contamination and manufacturing problems. A position statement from the European Working Group for Gaucher Disease and European Gaucher Alliance established a set of key recommendations for identifying and monitoring at-risk patients. In Spain, a profile of the shortage situation was obtained through follow-up of patients with Gaucher disease (GD) and compliance with the therapy recommendations. Here we describe a group of patients, with modified doses of imiglucerase, during the shortage. Fifty adult GD1 patients (25 males/25 females), previously on ERT, were analysed before and after the 6-month shortage. The mean age was 45.3 ± 15.3 years (range: 18-84). The mean Severity Score Index at diagnosis was 8.7 ± 3.8 (range: 3-19); 20% of patients were splenectomized; and 78% had bone disease. During the shortage, 23 patients (46%) discontinued therapy; as complications in this group only one patient suffered a bone crisis and another anaemia (Hb <10.0 g/dL). The mean reduction of haemoglobin level (-2.7%) and platelet counts (-5.4%) were non-significant. Chitotriosidase (CT) activity was increased 135% (p<0.03) and CCL18/PARC 8.2% (p<0.08) in this group. Imiglucerase was reduced by 50% in 17 patients (34%) in this group, seven patients (41.0%) suffered bone pain, three of them true bone crisis and four (23.5%) required support therapy. The mean reduction of haemoglobin (-2.8%) and platelet counts (-10.7%), CT activity was increased 48.2% (p<0.03) and no changes were observed in CCL18/PARC concentration. In both groups no significant changes in visceral size were observed. In 3 patients (6%), imiglucerase was reduced 75% and 7 patients (14%) needed to switch to another ERT (4 patients) or miglustat (3 patients) due to a restart of symptomatic disease. In Spain the 6 first months shortage of imiglucerase have produced a 20% incidence of bone pain, one case of anaemia, and a significant increase in CT activity. Fourteen percent of patients had to switch to another therapy. No significant changes in blood counts, visceral volumes and CCL18/PARC concentration were observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gaucher Disease / drug therapy*
  • Gaucher Disease / enzymology
  • Gaucher Disease / pathology*
  • Glucosylceramidase / supply & distribution*
  • Glucosylceramidase / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spain
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Glucosylceramidase
  • imiglucerase