Bone infarcts in Gaucher disease

Case contributed by Dr Laughlin Dawes


Known history of Gaucher disease.

Patient Data

Age: 60
Gender: Male

Geographic area of low signal in the left iliac bone, surrounded by a serpiginous high signal rim. This is a characteristic appearance of a bone infarct. There is also high signal within the right iliac bone. Note the normal signal of the sacrum.

Case Discussion

The patient had multiple other bone infarcts in the long bones of the lower limbs, as well as focal areas of high signal.

Gaucher disease is a congenital storage disorder with accumulation of glucocerebroside in the reticuloendothelial system and bone marrow. The majority of patients present in childhood or as young adults - type I. Types II and III are rare, occur in neonates and young children, and carry a generally poor prognosis.

Bone marrow expansion gives rise to Erlenmeyer-flask deformity of the distal femur in 50%. Ischaemic necrosis of the femoral head is a common complication. Bone infarcts in the metadiaphyseal regions of long bones also occur. Bone density is decreased generally, predisposing to vertebral compression fracture. Localised lytic bone lesions may occasionally occur, which represent focal accumulations of Gaucher cells. Patients have an increased incidence of osteomyelitis.

Types I and III Gaucher disease may be treated by enzyme replacement. MRI findings include generalised low marrow signal on T1-weighted scans, focal areas of low T1 signal representing Gaucher cell accumulations, and evidence of bone infarcts.

Credit: Laughlin Dawes.

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Case information

rID: 35884
Published: 6th May 2015
Last edited: 6th Nov 2015
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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