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Disease characteristics

Excerpted from the GeneReview: Gaucher Disease
Gaucher disease (GD) encompasses a continuum of clinical findings from a perinatal lethal disorder to an asymptomatic type. The identification of three major clinical types (1, 2, and 3) and two other subtypes (perinatal-lethal and cardiovascular) is useful in determining prognosis and management. GD type 1 is characterized by the presence of clinical or radiographic evidence of bone disease (osteopenia, focal lytic or sclerotic lesions, and osteonecrosis), hepatosplenomegaly, anemia and thrombocytopenia, lung disease, and the absence of primary central nervous system disease. GD types 2 and 3 are characterized by the presence of primary neurologic disease; in the past, they were distinguished by age of onset and rate of disease progression, but these distinctions are not absolute. Disease with onset before age two years, limited psychomotor development, and a rapidly progressive course with death by age two to four years is classified as GD type 2. Individuals with GD type 3 may have onset before age two years, but often have a more slowly progressive course, with survival into the third or fourth decade. The perinatal-lethal form is associated with ichthyosiform or collodion skin abnormalities or with nonimmune hydrops fetalis. The cardiovascular form is characterized by calcification of the aortic and mitral valves, mild splenomegaly, corneal opacities, and supranuclear ophthalmoplegia. Cardiopulmonary complications have been described with all the clinical subtypes, although varying in frequency and severity.

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Clinical features

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  • Cardiomegaly
  • Splenomegaly
  • Strabismus
  • Hypertonia
  • Slowed horizontal saccades
  • Hypometric horizontal saccades
  • Calcific aortic valve stenosis
  • Calcific mitral stenosis
  • Opacification of the corneal stroma
  • Seizure
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Ophthalmoparesis
  • Hearing impairment
  • Supranuclear ophthalmoplegia
  • Horizontal nystagmus
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Abnormality of the aortic valve
  • Abnormality of the aorta
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Pes cavus
  • Pancytopenia
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Calcification of the aorta
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