Hong Kong Med J 2005;11:322-30 | Number 5, October 2005
Combined orbital irradiation and systemic steroids compared with systemic steroids alone in the management of moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy: a preliminary study
CM Ng, HKL Yuen, KL Choi, MK Chan, KT Yuen, YW Ng, SC Tiu
Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To assess the efficacy and safety of combined orbital irradiation and systemic steroids in the management of moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy.
DESIGN. Single-blind randomised prospective study.
SETTING. Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Sixteen patients with active moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy who were randomly assigned to steroid therapy (ST group) or combination therapy of orbital irradiation and systemic steroids (SRT group) between June 2000 and June 2003.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. NOSPECS scoring system, total eye score, subjective eye score, and extra-ocular muscle thickness as determined by either computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging scans.
RESULTS. The study was completed by 15 of 16 patients. Both groups experienced improvement in total eye score, soft tissue swelling, ocular motility, visual acuity, and subjective eye score at 52-week follow-up. Total eye score improved earlier in the SRT group, achieving statistical significance (P
CONCLUSION. A combination of orbital irradiation and systemic steroids is well tolerated and more effective than steroids alone in the treatment of active moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy. It achieves greater and more rapid improvement in soft tissue swelling, ocular motility, and visual acuity.
Key words: Eye diseases; Graves' disease; Orbit/radiation effects; Steroids; Treatment outcome
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