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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008;1131:203-5. doi: 10.1196/annals.1413.022.

Gorham's disease: an osseous disease of lymphangiogenesis?

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Stanford Center for Lymphatic and Venous Disorders, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Gorham's disease, also known as massive osteolysis, Gorham-Stout disease, vanishing bone disease, or, phantom bone disease is a rare disorder of the musculoskeletal system. The disease is characterized by osteolysis in bony segments, with localized proliferation of lymphatic channels. The presence of abundant, leaky systemic lymphatic vessels is often accompanied by chylous ascites. There is no standardized treatment available for Gorham's disease, and its molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Future strategies for understanding Gorham's disease should emphasize its apparent identity as a disease of disordered lymphangiogenesis. Breakthroughs in lymphatic research have identified several lymphangiogenic pathways that may play a relevant role in Gorham's disease.

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