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The International Collaborative Gaucher Group GRAF (Gaucher Risk Assessment for Fracture) score: a composite risk score for assessing adult fracture risk in imiglucerase-treated Gaucher disease type 1 patients

  • Deegan, Patrick1
  • Khan, Aneal2
  • Camelo, José Simon Jr3
  • Batista, Julie L.4
  • Weinreb, Neal5
  • 1 Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,
  • 2 University of Calgary,
  • 3 University of São Paulo,
  • 4 Sanofi Genzyme, Cambridge, MA USA
  • 5 University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,
Published Article
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 18, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s13023-020-01656-6
PMID: 33602299
PMCID: PMC7893749
PubMed Central


Background Fractures in Gaucher disease type 1 (GD1) patients cause significant morbidity. Fracture risk may be decreased by enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) but not eliminated. When considering initiation of treatment, it is useful to know to what extent fixed patient-specific factors determine risk for future fractures beyond standard risk factors that change with time and treatment, such as decreased bone mineral density. We developed a tool called the GRAF score (Gaucher Risk Assessment for Fracture) that applies 5 widely available characteristics (sex, age at treatment initiation [ATI], time interval between diagnosis and treatment initiation, splenectomy status, history of pre-treatment bone crisis) and provides a practical method to assess future fracture risk when imiglucerase ERT is initiated. Methods Inclusion criteria: GD1 patients in the International Collaborative Gaucher Group Gaucher Registry as of September 2019 initially treated with alglucerase/imiglucerase; known splenectomy status; at least one skeletal assessment on treatment (3216 of 6422 patients). Data were analyzed by ATI group (< 18, ≥ 18 to < 50, or ≥ 50 years of age) using Cox proportional hazards regression with all 5 risk factors included in the multivariable model. A composite risk score was calculated by summing the contribution of each parameter weighted by the strength of its association (regression coefficient) with fracture risk. Results Patients were followed from the date of treatment initiation (or age 18 years for patients if treatment started earlier) to the date of first adult fracture (n = 288 first fracture endpoints), death, or end of follow-up. The GRAF score for each ATI group was associated with a 2.7-fold increased risk of adult fracture for each one-point increase ( p < 0.02 for < 18 ATI, p < 0.0001 for ≥ 18 to < 50 ATI and ≥ 50 ATI). Conclusions The GRAF score is a tool to be used with bone density and other modifiable, non-GD-specific risk factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol intake, frailty) to inform physicians and previously untreated GD1 patients about risk for a future fracture after starting imiglucerase regardless of whether there is an eventual switch to an alternative ERT or to substrate reduction therapy. GRAF can also help predict the extent that fracture risk increases if initiation of treatment is further delayed.

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