Test Catalog

Test ID: GPSYW    
Glucopsychosine, Blood

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Second-tier test when newborn screening results with reduced beta-glucosidase (GBA) activity are identified


Diagnosis and monitoring of patients with Gaucher disease


Documentation of an elevated glucopsychosine (glucosylsphingosine: lyso-GL1) level supports the biochemical diagnosis of Gaucher disease


Monitoring a patient's response to treatment


This test is not useful for identifying carriers of GBA variants.

Genetics Test Information Provides information that may help with selection of the correct genetic test or proper submission of the test request

Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficient beta-glucosidase activity.


There are 3 described types of Gaucher disease with varying clinical presentations generally distinguished based on whether there is central nervous system involvement.


Glucopsychosine (glucosylsphingosine: lyso-GL1) is elevated in symptomatic patients and supports a diagnosis of Gaucher disease.

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which facilitates the lysosomal degradation of glucosylceramide (glucocerebroside) and glucopsychosine (glucosylsphingosine: lyso-GL1). Gaucher disease is caused by variants in the GBA gene. There are 3 described types of Gaucher disease with varying clinical presentations and age of onset from a perinatal lethal disorder to a mildly symptomatic type. Features of all types of Gaucher disease include hepatosplenomegaly and hematological abnormalities.


Gaucher disease type I is the most common form, representing more than 90% of cases. It is generally characterized by bone disease, hepatosplenomegaly, anemia and thrombocytopenia, coagulation abnormalities, lung disease, but no central nervous system involvement. Gaucher disease types II and III are characterized by the presence of primary neurologic disease. In addition, Type II typically presents with limited psychomotor development, hepatosplenomegaly, and lung disease, resulting in death usually between 2 and 4 years of age. Individuals with Gaucher disease type III may present prior to 2 years of age, but the progression is not as rapid, and patients may survive into the third and fourth decade. Additional subtypes of Gaucher disease include a perinatal lethal form associated with skin abnormalities and nonimmune hydrops fetalis, and a cardiovascular form presenting with calcification of the aortic and mitral valves, mild splenomegaly, corneal opacities, and gaze impairment.


Treatment is available in the form of enzyme replacement therapy and substrate reduction therapy for types I and III. These treatment options have generally made bone marrow transplantation obsolete. Currently, only supportive therapy is available for type II because of the inability of enzyme provided by replacement therapy to cross the blood-brain barrier.


The incidence of Gaucher disease type I ranges from 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 100,000 in the general population but is much more frequent among Ashkenazi Jews with an incidence of approximately 1 in 900. Types II and III both have an incidence of approximately 1 in 100,000 in the general population.


A diagnostic workup for Gaucher disease may demonstrate the characteristic finding of Gaucher cells on bone marrow examination, other hematologic abnormalities, and hepatosplenomegaly. The diagnosis can be confirmed by the demonstration of reduced or absent acid beta-glucosidase activity in leukocytes (BGL / Beta-Glucosidase, Leukocytes), or dried blood spots (PLSD / Lysosomal and Peroxisomal Storage Disorders Screen, Blood Spot) and molecular genetic analysis of the GBA gene (GAUP / Gaucher Disease, Mutation Analysis, GBA, Varies; or GBAZ / Gaucher Disease, Full Gene Analysis, Varies). Lyso GL-1 is a sensitive and specific biomarker for Gaucher disease, and an elevation of lyso GL-1 in blood supports the diagnosis. Lyso GL-1 has also been shown to be helpful in monitoring mildly symptomatic individuals for disease progression and in determining treatment response.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Cutoff: < or =0.040 nmol/mL

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

An elevation of glucopsychosine (glucosylsphingosine: lyso-GL1) is indicative of Gaucher disease.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Some patients with Gaucher disease may have normal concentrations of glucopsychosine (lyso-GL1).

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Pastores GM, Hughes DA: Gaucher disease. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, et al, eds. GeneReviews. University of Washington, Seattle; 2000. Updated June 21, 2018. Accessed September 28, 2020. Available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1269/

2. Kaplan P, Baris H, De Meirleir L, et al: Revised recommendations for the management of Gaucher disease in children. Eur J Pediatr. 2013;172(4):447-458

3. Grabowski GA, Petsko GA, Kolodny EH, et al: Gaucher disease. In: Valle DL, Antonarakis S, Ballabio A, Beaudet AL, Mitchell GA, eds. The Online Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. McGraw-Hill. 2019. Accessed February 4, 2021. Available at https://ommbid.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?sectionid=225546056&bookid=2709

4. Murugeasan V, Chuan WL, Liu J, et al: Glycosylsphingosine is a key biomarker of Gaucher disease. Am J Hematol. 2016 Nov;91(11):1082-1089

5. Arkadir D, Dinur T, Revel-Vilk S, et al: Glucosylsphingosine is a reliable response biomarker in Gaucher disease. Am J of Hematol. 2018 Jun;93(6):E140-E142. doi: 10.1002/ajh.25074

6. Saville JT, McDermott BK, Chin SJ, Fletcher JM, Fuller M: Expanding the clinical utility of glucosylsphingosine for Gaucher disease. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2020 May;43(3):558-563

Special Instructions Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test