Vol 57, No 5 (2006)
Case report
Published online: 2006-11-06

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A special case of thyroid associated ophthalmopathy in the course of Graves-Basedow disease

Agata Bałdys-Waligórska, Beata Kuśnierz-Cabala, Bohdan Huszno
Endokrynol Pol 2006;57(5):536-540.


Introduction: The exact pathogenesis of Graves’ ophthalmopathy and the possibility of causal treatment of this disease still remain unclear. Currently no standard treatment guidelines have been accepted. While treatment procedures have been established in specialized centres, management of complicated and long-lasting cases is always individual. We present an unusual case of Graves’ ophthalmopathy accompanied by other autoimmune diseases.
Case report: Our patient, MB, female, born in 1961, was diagnosed with Graves’ disease 13 years ago. Recurrent hyperthyroidism and large goitre qualified her for strumectomy (performed twice) and long-term antithyroid treatment. Four years after her initial diagnosis, relapsing severe (ophthalmopathy index: 9 points, CAS: 7 points) occurred which persisted despite continuous administration of glucocorticoids. Due to imminent blindness, orbital decompression had to be performed, three times since. Concurrent autoimmune diseases: ulcerative colitis and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis were also stated. Two years ago, due to loss of vision acuity, rapid progression of exophthalmos and recurrence of hyperthyroidism, immunosuppressive treatment with azathioprine was undertaken over a period of 12 months. The present condition of the patient is satisfactory.
Conclusion: Judging from the discussed course of treatment, in rare and difficult cases of proliferative ophthalmopathy, early immunosuppressive treatment other than glucocorticoids, should be considered.

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