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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess a piezosurgical device as a novel tool for bony orbital decompression surgery. At a multidisciplinary orbital center, 62 surgeries were performed in 40 patients with thyroid associated orbitopathy (TAO). Within this retrospective case-series, we analyzed the medical records of these consecutive unselected patients. The reduction of proptosis was the main outcome measure. Indications for a two (n = 27, 44%) or three wall (35, 56%) decompression surgery were proptosis (n = 50 orbits, 81%) and optic neuropathy (n = 12, 19%). Piezosurgery enabled precise bone cuts without intraoperative complications. Proptosis decreased from 23.6 ± 2.8 mm (SD) by 3 mm (95% CI: -3.6 to -2.5 mm) after surgery and stayed stable at 3 months (-3 mm, 95% CI: -3.61 to -2.5 mm, p < 0.001, respectively). The effect was higher in those with preoperatively higher values (>24 mm versus ≤24 mm: -3.4 mm versus -2.81 mm before discharge from hospital and -4.1 mm versus -2.1 mm at 3 months: p < 0.001, respectively). After a mean long-term follow-up period of 14.6 ± 10.4 months proptosis decreased by further -0.7 ± 2.0 mm (p < 0.001). Signs of optic nerve compression improved after surgery. Infraorbital hypesthesia was present in 11 of 21 (52%) orbits 3 months after surgery. The piezosurgical device is a useful tool for orbital decompression surgery in TAO. By cutting bone selectively, it is precise and reduces the invasiveness of surgery. Nevertheless, no improvement in outcome or reduction in morbidity over conventional techniques has been shown so far.
    Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 06/2014; 42(8). DOI:10.1016/j.jcms.2014.06.020 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The aim of this investigations was to study the effectiveness of anti-CD20 antibody therapy in Graves' orbitopathy (GO) resistant to glucocorticoids. Five patients were entered in the study. The protocol required no improvement of orbital status after a recent course of glucocorticoids. Activity of GO was confirmed by three independent techniques: clinical activity score (CAS), (99m)Tc-labeled diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid ((99m)Tc DTPA) single photon emission computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Rituximab (RTX) was given as weekly infusions of 375 mg/m(2) body surface area for four weeks. The mean follow-up period was 67 (range 58-81) months. Improvement of GO has been observed in all patients: CAS before therapy was 6.5 ± 1.7 and decreased to 3.4 ± 1.6 by one month (p < 0.05) and remained unchanged (3.2 ± 1.7) at 12 months. No further CAS change, in either direction, was detected during the yearly follow-up visits. The mean DTPA uptake before therapy was 16.52 ± 4.51 MBq/cm(3) and decreased to 11.97 ± 2.36 MBq/cm(3) at one year (p < 0.002). The mean of T2 relaxation times before and one year after therapy were 96.91 ± 17.61 ms and 84.29 ± 9.41 ms, respectively (p < 0.001). The mean serum TSH receptor antibody (TRAb) levels before therapy, at the one month and one year control visits were 7.4 ± 3.4 U/L, 5.6 ± 4.5 U/L and 1.7 ± 1.5 U/L, respectively (p < 0.004). No correlation between changes of TRAb and activity parameters has been found. Anti-CD20 treatment seems to influence positively the clinical course of GO, and this effect seems to be stable for five years. To our knowledge, this is the longest published follow-up of RTX treatment in GO.
    Autoimmunity 07/2014; DOI:10.3109/08916934.2014.939266 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review In recent years, immunosuppressive therapy, as an alternative to corticosteroids, has been proposed as novel agents which target the various antigens involved in the pathogenesis of Graves' ophthalmopathy. Although the lack of randomized and controlled studies suggests caution in generalizing results, some data show interesting results. Recent findings Potential targets for immune therapy in Graves' ophthalmopathy are the antigens expressed on the target organ of inflammation, namely the receptor and the insulin growth factor -1 receptor on fibroblasts, inflammatory cytokines, and B and T cells. The most promising results are observed with small thyroid stimulating hormone receptor molecules interacting with the receptor on thyrocytes and fibroblasts and with the anti-IGF-1 receptor antibody teprotumumab. A recent open study with tocilizumab, an anti-soluble interleukin-6 receptor, has shown inactivation of Graves' ophthalmopathy. Consistent reports on the efficacy of rituximab will have to be confirmed by randomized controlled trials, which are now in progress. Summary Current clinical practice for Graves' ophthalmopathy will greatly benefit from the availability of immunosuppressors that act as disease-modifying drugs, as compared to steroids, the current standard treatment for Graves' ophthalmopathy. Rituximab seems to be a good candidate, as preliminary results from ongoing randomized trials suggest good efficacy with a relative well tolerated profile.
    Current Opinion in Endocrinology Diabetes and Obesity 08/2014; 21(5). DOI:10.1097/MED.0000000000000097 · 3.77 Impact Factor