Lung involvement and enzyme replacement therapy in Gaucher's disease

O. Goitein, D. Elstein*, A. Abrahamov, I. Hadas-Halpern, E. Melzer, E. Kerem, A. Zimran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Symptomatic lung involvement in Gaucher's disease is relatively rare, being restricted to patients with other severe manifestations. We describe our experience in eight of 411 patients in our referral clinic, who presented with prominent pulmonary signs or symptoms. There were four adults and four children; all have been successfully treated with enzyme replacement therapy. Routine means of monitoring pulmonary status including clinical assessment, chest X-ray, pulmonary function tests, and high-resolution CT (HRCT) were used. Enzyme treatment resulted in decreased hepatosplenomegaly, improved haematological parameters, and increased well-being; There was decreased clubbing and decreased dyspnoea in some of the patients, although on radiology, lung pathology had not normalized. All four children showed improved respiratory compliance, with significant improvement of the radiological findings in one and unchanged disease in the others. Two adults showed improvement in oxygen saturation but worsening of pulmonary hypertension. On chest X-ray, both had increased interstitial markings; one had gradual progression of pulmonary artery accentuation and fine interstitial stable pattern on HRCT. The other two adults had no change in lung function or on chest X-ray, but on HRCT there was apparent improvement in one patient. There is great heterogeneity in presentation and response to enzyme therapy in patients with Gaucher's disease and symptomatic lung involvement. Clinically, some benefited significantly from enzyme therapy, but in contrast to the dramatic reduction in organomegaly, there was no normalization in pulmonary function or lung architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
JournalQJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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