Efficacy of corticosteroids and external beam radiation in the management of moderate to severe thyroid eye disease.

Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 900 Blake Wilbur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 1.63). 10/2007; 27(3):205-14. DOI: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e31814a5ef8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thyroid Eye Disease (TED, Graves ophthalmopathy, thyroid ophthalmopathy) is the most common cause of orbital inflammation and proptosis in adults. There is no agreement on its management although corticosteroids and external beam orbital radiation (XRT) have traditionally been believed to provide benefit in active inflammation. Our review of the published literature in English disclosed an overall corticosteroid-mediated treatment response of 66.9% in a total of 834 treated patients who had moderate or severe TED. Intravenous corticosteroids used in repeated weekly pulses were more effective (overall favorable response = 74.6%, n = 177) and had fewer side effects than daily oral corticosteroids (overall favorable response = 55.5%, n = 265). A combination of corticosteroid and radiation therapy seemed to be more effective than corticosteroids alone. Our conclusions are tempered by a notable lack of standardization within and between study designs, treatment protocols, and outcome measures. Accordingly, the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS), American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) and the Orbital Society, in conjunction with Neuro-Ophthalmology Research and Development Consortium (NORDIC), will investigate the design and funding of a multi-center controlled trial.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose. Thyroid-related orbitopathy (TRO) is associated with inflammation, expansion of orbital fat, enlargement of extraocular muscles, and optic neuropathy (ON). We examined the effects of orbital decompression on the inflammatory and congestive signs of TRO in patients who underwent emergent orbital decompression. Methods. This retrospective, consecutive study included patients with ON from TRO who underwent orbital decompression. Pre- and postoperative orbital inflammatory signs in the operated and nonoperated, contralateral eyes were graded with the 10-item clinical activity score (CAS). Results. Thirty-one orbits were included. Postoperatively, 22 patients and 29 orbits had resolution of ON while the remaining 2 patients had improvement in visual acuity. Mean preoperative CAS was 9.5 ± 0.4. At 12 months, postoperative CAS was 2.1 ± 0.6 (P < 0.01) in the operated eye and 3.2 ± 0.5 (P < 0.05) in the nonoperated, contralateral eye. Conclusion. In our series, 94% of orbits had resolution of ON. There was also a statistically significant postoperative reduction in the CAS in both the operated and nonoperated, contralateral eyes. This phenomenon may be due to lowered venous congestion, decreased intraorbital pressure, and diminution in inflammatory factors.
    BioMed research international. 01/2013; 2013:794984.
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    ABSTRACT: The management of active thyroid eye disease (TED) can be a challenging therapeutic dilemma. The pathogenic complexity, disease heterogeneity, clinical unpredictability, and ocular morbidity associated with TED necessitate a team approach. A literature search ending on December 31, 2013, was performed using PubMed ( with the following search terms: Graves' disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Graves' orbitopathy, Graves' ophthalmopathy, thyroid eye disease, thyroidectomy, antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine, orbital decompression, orbital radiotherapy (ORT), proptosis, and optic neuropathy. The search included manuscripts in English only. Additional articles and textbooks were retrieved from the reference list of articles that were obtained from the original PubMed literature search. Corticosteroids, ORT, and orbital decompression have been the mainstay treatment modalities for active TED for more than 50 years. Few randomized controlled studies have systematically evaluated these treatment strategies, and of those trials that have been executed, they are difficult to compare and contrast because of inconsistencies in study design and outcome measures. Newer immunosuppressive and immunomodulating agents are being investigated with anecdotal evidence of improved efficacy compared with traditional treatments. All patients with TED must be assessed for disease activity and severity to determine the best course of action. Risk factor modification begins with smoking cessation and attaining euthyroid status. The first-line treatment for moderate-to-severe TED or dysthyroid optic neuropathy is systemic corticosteroids; but often a multimodality approach with the addition of ORT or orbital decompression may be required. The development of novel therapeutic agents against specific immunological targets will improve upon the current treatment armamentarium available to clinicians and patients with TED. Uniformly accepted, scientifically reliable and clinically valid outcome measures integrated into well-designed clinical trials are needed to advance the management of TED to a more evidence-based approach.
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