What are the treatments for Gorham’s disease?


Treatment of Gorham’s disease is for the most part palliative and limited to symptom management. Sometimes the bone destruction spontaneously ceases and no treatment is required. But when the disease is progressive, aggressive intervention may be necessary. Duffy and colleagues16 reported that some 17% of patients with Gorham’s disease in the ribs, shoulder, or upper spine experience extension of the disease into the chest, leading to chylothorax with its serious consequences, and that the mortality rate in this group can reach as high as 64% without surgical intervention.


A search of the medical literature reveals multiple case reports of interventions, with varying rates of success as follows:


Cardiothoraric (heart & lung)

  • Pleurodesis
  • ligation of thoracic duct
  • pleurperitoneal shunt
  • radiation therapy
  • pleurectomy
  • surgical resection
  • thalidomide
  • Interferon alpha 2b
  • TPN nutrition
  • Thoracentesis
  • medium chain triglyceride and high protein diet
  • chemotherapy
  • sclerotherapy
  • transplantation



  • Interferon alpha 2b
  • bisphosphonates (i.e. pamidronate)
  • surgical resection
  • radiation therapy
  • sclerotherapy
  • percutaneous bone cement
  • bone grafts
  • prosthesis
  • surgical stabilization


To date, there are no known interventions that are consistently effective for Gorham’s and all reported interventions are considered experimental treatments for Gorham’s, though many are routine for other conditions. Some patients may require a combination of these approaches. Unfortunately, some patients will not respond to any intervention.

All treatments are explained in the Medical terms



Source: (April 5th, 2016)