Woman’s Arm Bone Vanishes In Rare Medical Condition

A Scottish woman was plagued by extreme pain in her left arm and shoulder for more than a year because the area was affected a rare medical condition that eventually made her bones disappear.

The woman’s unusual diagnosis of Gorham-Stout disease was detailed in a paper published in BMJ Case Reports.

According to  the National Organization for Rare Disorders, “Gorham-Stout disease (GSD), which is also known as vanishing bone disease, disappearing bone disease, massive osteolysis, and more than a half-dozen other terms in the medical literature, is a rare bone disorder characterized by progressive bone loss (osteolysis) and the overgrowth (proliferation) of lymphatic vessels. Affected individuals experience progressive destruction and resorption of bone.”

The area that the bones vanish from is then replaced by blood vessel tumors.

A lesion was found on her humerus, according to the paper, noting that an “initial biopsy provided no definitive diagnosis.”

More biopsies were set up because it was thought there could be something cancerous, researchers said, and a benign blood vessel tumor was reportedly found.

The woman had pain in her arm a year on and more tests were done, they added.

“About 18 months after the woman first went to the doctor, scans revealed her ‘vanishing’ bones; both her humerus and her ulnar bone (one of the two bones in the forearm) appeared to be disappearing on X-rays,” Live Science explained.

Researchers called the illness “an exceptionally rare, poorly understood and potentially fatal skeletal condition” in the paper.

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