The symptoms of GSD depend upon the specific bones involved. The ribs, spine, pelvis, skull, collarbone (clavicle), and jaw are the most commonly affect bones in GSD. In some cases, affected individuals may rapidly develop Pain and Swelling in the affected area. In other cases, affected individuals may experience a dull Pain or ache or generalized Weakness that builds over time. Trauma is often a trigger of the initial presentation of the disease. Bones affected by GSD are prone to pathological fractures.
When GSD affects the maxillofacial area, pain, loose teeth, fractures and facial deformity may develop.
Involvement of the spine or skull base can be associated with neurological complications. Involvement of the spine can also potentially result in chronic or acute Pain or Paralysis (paraplegia). Some medical references have reported an association with meningitis in such cases. Meningitis is Inflammation of the membranes (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord, usually due to infection.
Involvement of the thoracic cage can lead to chylothorax, which is the accumulation of chyle in the space between the membranes (pleura) that line the lungs and chest cavity. Chyle is a milky fluid that consists of lymph and fat. Chylothorax can cause difficulty breathing (dyspnea), rapid breathing (tachypnea), chest Pain or respiratory compromise. Chylothorax can eventually progress to cause life-threatening respiratory complications. Chylous ascites (accumulation of chyle in the abdominal cavity) can also occur in patients with GSD.
Some individuals with GSD may develop abnormal fluid accumulation around the heart (pericardial effusion). Specifically, the fluid accumulates in the pericardium, the sac-like structure that surrounds the heart.
Clinical Course – Outcomes The prognosis for GSD patients is uncertain and variable and depends on the extent of the disease, the part of the body involved, and underlying proliferative progressiveness of the disease. Pulmonary involvement with chylothorax or spinal involvement may confer a poor prognosis, sometimes leading to death. In other cases, lesions may remain stable for long periods of time.