Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During a physical exam, your doctor will press on you or your child's abdomen to check the size of the spleen and liver. He or she might also recommend certain lab tests, imaging scans and genetic counseling.

Lab tests

Blood samples can be checked for levels of the enzyme associated with Gaucher's disease. Genetic analysis can also reveal whether you have the disease.

Imaging tests

People diagnosed with Gaucher's disease typically require periodic tests to track its progression. These may include imaging tests such as:

  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This test uses low-level X-rays to measure bone density.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a strong magnetic field, an MRI can show whether the spleen or liver is enlarged, and if bone marrow has been affected.

Preconception screening and prenatal testing

You may want to consider genetic screening prior to starting a family if you or your partner is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage or if either of you have a family history of Gaucher's disease. In some cases, doctors may recommend prenatal testing to see if the fetus is at risk of Gaucher's disease.

July 02, 2015