Pan African Medical Journal

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Gaucher’s disease: Report of 11 cases with review of literature

L Essabar, T Meskini, N Lamalmi, S Ettair, N Erreimi, N Mouane


Gaucher's disease (GD) is a lysosomal storage disorder due to  glucocerebrosidase deficiency; it's one of the rare genetic diseases for which therapy is now available. The purpose of this work is to study the epidemiological features of the disease and to highlight the diagnostic difficulties. We performed an 11-year retrospective study of 11 patients with GD followed-up in the department of paediatric hepatology  gastroenterology and nutrition of Rabat children's Hospital. We observed 11 patients with GD: 6 males and 5 females. Age at onset ranged from 3 months to 10 years with an average of 3.41 years. Mean age at diagnosis was 4 years (range 3months-14years).Parental consanguinity was noted in 85% cases. According to the clinical presentation, we classified our patients into: 9 cases of type 1 (81%) and two cases of type 2 (19%), none of the patients presented GD type 3. GD type 1: The age at diagnosis ranged from 2 years to 14 year with an average of 6 years. Main symptoms were:
splenomegaly, hepatomegaly , pallor, haemorrhagic appearance (40%), bone pain (40%). The diagnosis was based on histology showing the Gaucher's cells in various tissues (100%). Enzymatic activity dosage  confirmed the diagnosis of GD for 4 patients (44.5%). The treatment was
always symptomatic (analgesics, transfusion). A splenectomy was  performed in one case presenting with multiple splenic abscesses and high
transfusion requirements. None of the patients received a specific  treatment (substitutive enzymotherapy). The follow-up period ranged from 3 months to 6 years with an average follow-up of 4 years. We noticed  stability in 4 cases, 2 worsening cases with bone and spleen complications.
Three patients were lost to follow-up. GD type 2: we observed two cases of GD type 2 diagnosed at 3 and 18 months. The visceral symptoms were
serious and the neurological features included seizures, hypertony, squint, physical developmental milestones delay. Both of them died. Gaucher's
disease is not exceptional in Morocco. Type 1 is the most common type. We noted through this study some diagnostic difficulties as the diagnosis
was delayed and the enzymatic dosage was performed in only 42% of the cases as well as therapeutic difficulty with no prescription of the specific
treatment given the high cost of the enzyme.

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