CE: Understanding the Nurse's Role in Managing Gaucher Disease

Vucko, E. R.

Am J Nurs. 2018 May 12; 118(6):36-42


: Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are a group of inherited metabolic conditions, the overall incidence of which is estimated to range from one in 5,000 to one in 7,000 live births. Gaucher disease, the most common LSD, is of autosomal recessive inheritance. It results from a deficiency of acid beta-glucocerebrosidase and can affect the spleen, liver, bone, bone marrow, and central nervous system. Gaucher disease is clinically classified into one of three phenotypes, depending on the absence or presence of neurodegenerative disease and the rate of disease progression. Although there is no cure for Gaucher disease, it may be treated with enzyme replacement and substrate reduction therapy. With the development of enzyme testing through dried blood spots, Gaucher disease may now be detected at birth through newborn screening. The purpose of this article is to review the epidemiology and pathophysiology of Gaucher disease, update nurses on advances in newborn screening, diagnosis, and management of this genetic disorder, and highlight the role of nurses in the diagnosis and care of patients with Gaucher disease.

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