ABSTRACT: To analyze the efficacy of intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) immunosuppression in the management of active thyroid eye disease (TED).
This is a consecutive case series of 36 patients treated with 1 g of IVMP over 3 days, between January 2000 and January 2008. The indications for this treatment were moderate to severe active TED with or without optic nerve compression.
There were 32 hyperthyroid, 2 hypothyroid, and 2 euthyroid patients in this series. Nine patients presented with optic nerve compromise, 3 had severe active TED and 24 had moderately active TED. Twenty-seven patients received one course of IVMP and nine patients received two courses. All patients had tapering oral prednisolone over 1 month following the IVMP. The mean improvement in proptosis was 1.31 mm (range = 0-3 mm). Optic nerve function improved in seven of nine patients (77.8%). Extra ocular muscle movement improved in 18 patients (50%). Overall benefit from IVMP was seen at 1/12 in 27 patients (75%) and at 3/12 in 30 patients (83%). After IVMP one patient underwent radiotherapy and three patients had nonsteroidal immunosuppression.
IVMP immunosuppression is effective in 83% of patients. The effect lasts from 3 months to 8 years, with a mean of 15 months in 30.5%. It remains a useful modality of treatment especially when the optic nerve or cornea is threatened because of moderate to severe active TED. We encountered no severe side effects of pulsed IVMP and 3 g over 3 days is a safe dose.
Orbit (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 10/2010; 29(5):227-31.