Prevalence and predictors of liver fibrosis evaluated by vibration controlled transient elastography in type 1 Gaucher disease

Fabio Nascimbeni, Elena Cassinerio, Annalisa Dalla Salda, Irene Motta, Serena Bursi, Salvatore Donatiello, Vincenzo Spina, Maria Domenica Cappellini, Francesca Carubbi

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Background & aims: Long-term liver-related complications of Gaucher disease (GD) include cirrhosis, portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although liver fibrosis is the main determinant of adverse liver-related clinical outcomes, it has rarely been evaluated in previously published cohorts of GD patients. We aimed at: assessing the prevalence of significant liver fibrosis in a cohort of patients with type 1 GD; identifying its predictors among GD-related variables, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and metabolic features. Methods: 37 adult type 1 GD patients from two Italian academic referral centers were prospectively submitted to vibration controlled transient elastography (Fibroscan®); significant fibrosis was defined as liver stiffness ≥7 kPa. Results: Median liver stiffness was 4.6 [3–15.1] kPa and 7 patients (19%) had significant fibrosis. Significant fibrosis was associated with splenectomy (p = .046) and with scores (DS3: p = .002; SSI: p = .026) and biomarkers (ACE: p = .016; HDL cholesterol: p = .004) of GD severity. Length of ERT was significantly lower in GD patients with significant fibrosis. In the subgroup of 29 patients who were on stable ERT for at least 24 months, further to splenectomy, GD severity and non-N370S GBA1 genotypes, also diastolic blood pressure, BMI and the number of metabolic syndrome (MetS) components emerged as factors significantly associated with significant fibrosis. Conclusions: Significant fibrosis is present in a remarkable proportion of adult type 1 GD patients. Splenectomy, GD severity and GBA1 genotypes are major GD-related predictors of liver fibrosis. Length of ERT is inversely correlated with liver disease in GD patients, suggesting a beneficial effect of ERT on liver fibrosis. However, GD patients on stable ERT should be monitored for metabolic complications, since MetS features may enhance liver disease progression despite optimal GD control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Glucocerebrosidase deficiency
  • Liver stiffness
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Vibration controlled transient elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology


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