The role of cardiac magnetic resonance in assessing the cardiac involvement in Gaucher type 1 patients: morphological and functional evaluations

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Type 1 Gaucher disease (GD1) is the most common lysosomal disorder, characterized by the accumulation of beta-glucocerebroside into the macrophages of several organs. Cardiac involvement is rare and referred to as restrictive cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, and calcifications of the valves and the aortic arch.


To assess the cardiovascular status by cardiac magnetic resonance, including evaluation of tissue characterization, in GD1 patients.


Nine GD1 patients were recruited at the Tertiary Care Centre for Rare Diseases at Ca’ Granda Foundation IRCCS Hospital, Milan. The patients’ records were available for a mean time of 6 ± 3 years. Medical history of cardiac disease and cardiovascular risk factors were surveyed by direct interview. Patients were scanned with a 1.5 Avanto Siemens using a comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation protocol, including morphologic and functional sequences with gadolinium contrast media, to assess early and late enhancement (late gadolinium enhancement). Echocardiography was performed to study the cardiac morphology and function, including the measurement of pulmonary pressure.


Three patients showed left atrial enlargement, one patient showed moderate aortic stenosis in bicuspid valve with mild aortic dilatation, and one patient showed moderate mitral regurgitation. No evidence of myocardial late gadolinium enhancement was detected after gadolinium contrast media. Seven patients received enzyme replacement therapy for a median of 1 year, and two patients were evaluated at diagnosis.


Although cardiac disease in Gaucher disease is considered rare and associated with particular genotypes, we have found two valvular diseases and mild left atrial enlargement in three out of nine patients. Further studies to evaluate the prognostic value of these findings are warranted.

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