Vol 60, No 3 (2009)
Original paper
Published online: 2009-04-27

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Quality of life assessment in patients with Graves’ disease and progressive infiltrative ophthalmopathy during combined treatment with methylprednisolone and orbital radiotherapy

Grzegorz Kulig, Elżbieta Andrysiak-Mamos, Elżbieta Sowińska-Przepiera, Jolanta Kulig, Beata Karakiewicz, Jacek Brodowski, Maciej Robaczyk, Katarzyna Homa, Magdalena Letkiewicz, Anhelli Syrenicz
Endokrynol Pol 2009;60(3):158-165.


Introduction: The aim of the study was to assess quality of life (QoL) in patients with infiltrative form of Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO) during the combined pulse treatment with methylprednisolone and orbital radiotherapy, and also to search for the relation between the results of ophthalmopathy treatment and changes in QoL.
Material and methods: The study involved 29 patients aged 25-74 (the mean age: 52 ± 6 years) with infiltrative form of GO. They were classified for ophthalmopathy treatment on the basis of the following factors: the obtained euthyreosis, progressive character of eye changes, the level of eye changes determined on the basis of NO SPECS classification (at least class 3c), ophthalmopathy index (OI) according to Donaldson ≥ 4. GO was diagnosed as active if CAS (clinical activity score) ≥ 4. During the treatment, the patients received 6 cycles of methylprednisolone sodium succinate in doses of 1,0 g/24 h given as one-hour-long intravenous infusions for three successive days in a week. Between the 2nd and 4th cycle of Solu-Medrol, orbital radiotherapy with 10 MeV X-rays was performed. The control group was made up of healthy volunteers selected with regard to sex, age, educational background and nicotine addiction so as they corresponded with the study group. It involved 53 individuals aged 21-75 (the mean age: 52,4 ± 14 years). QoL was assessed by means of the MOS SF-36 questionnaire.
Results: Patients with GO evaluated their QoL lower than healthy individuals, which referred to physical functioning, physical and emotional role functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, mental health and bodily pain. No correlation was found between quality of life and such factors as age, sex, or duration time of Graves disease and ophthalmopathy. Analogically, no relation was observed between the activity and stage of clinical development of eye changes and QoL. The use of the combined GO therapy contributed to a considerable decrease in the development of eye changes and the disease activity. After treatment, the patients’ QoL improved which referred to physical role functioning, bodily pain, and vitality. Other QoL parameters did not statistically significantly differ.
Conclusions: GO causes a considerable worsening of QoL. The stage of clinical development and activity of GO find no reflection in QoL. Effectiveness of treatment for GO cannot be evaluated on the basis of changes in QoL.

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