open access

Vol 65, No 5 (2014)
Review article
Published online: 2014-10-09
Submitted: 2014-10-10
Accepted: 2014-10-10
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Orbital radiotherapy in the management of Graves’ orbitopathy — current state of knowledge

Marek Ruchała, Aleksandra Hernik, Ariadna Zybek
DOI: 10.5603/EP.2014.0054
·
Endokrynologia Polska 2014;65(5):388-396.

open access

Vol 65, No 5 (2014)
Review article
Published online: 2014-10-09
Submitted: 2014-10-10
Accepted: 2014-10-10

Abstract

The treatment of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for clinicians worldwide. The elimination of risk factors, such as encouraging smoking cessation and achieving euthyroidism, are the most important and usually sufficient treatment methods in most mild cases. A course of selenium may also be beneficial. High-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy remains the first-line therapy in moderate-to-severe orbitopathy; however in some patients such treatment may be insufficient. Radiotherapy for GO has been used for decades and is considered to be effective in active GO, although less than systemic corticosteroids. Unfortunately, there are only eight randomised studies that may be analysed to assess its true effectiveness and applicability. It has been indicated that radiotherapy affects mainly eye motility and soft tissue changes, with almost no influence on exophthalmos. The combination of these two therapies has proven to be even more effective than either treatment alone, especially in subjects with resistant or recurrent GO. Orbital radiotherapy seems to be a safe procedure with few adverse effects observed long after the therapy. It should be avoided in patients with retinopathy, due to diabetes mellitus and hypertension, and in young subjects (< 35 years old). Orbital radiotherapy, as a safe and generally effective second-line therapy, is used in some countries as a supporting method during the second course of systemic corticosteroid therapy, if the response to the first course is unsatisfactory. Further randomised, double-blind studies are needed to confirm fully its clinical usefulness. (Endokrynol Pol 2014; 65 (5): 388–396)

Abstract

The treatment of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for clinicians worldwide. The elimination of risk factors, such as encouraging smoking cessation and achieving euthyroidism, are the most important and usually sufficient treatment methods in most mild cases. A course of selenium may also be beneficial. High-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy remains the first-line therapy in moderate-to-severe orbitopathy; however in some patients such treatment may be insufficient. Radiotherapy for GO has been used for decades and is considered to be effective in active GO, although less than systemic corticosteroids. Unfortunately, there are only eight randomised studies that may be analysed to assess its true effectiveness and applicability. It has been indicated that radiotherapy affects mainly eye motility and soft tissue changes, with almost no influence on exophthalmos. The combination of these two therapies has proven to be even more effective than either treatment alone, especially in subjects with resistant or recurrent GO. Orbital radiotherapy seems to be a safe procedure with few adverse effects observed long after the therapy. It should be avoided in patients with retinopathy, due to diabetes mellitus and hypertension, and in young subjects (< 35 years old). Orbital radiotherapy, as a safe and generally effective second-line therapy, is used in some countries as a supporting method during the second course of systemic corticosteroid therapy, if the response to the first course is unsatisfactory. Further randomised, double-blind studies are needed to confirm fully its clinical usefulness. (Endokrynol Pol 2014; 65 (5): 388–396)

Get Citation

Keywords

radiotherapy; Graves' orbitopathy; orbitopathy

About this article
Title

Orbital radiotherapy in the management of Graves’ orbitopathy — current state of knowledge

Journal

Endokrynologia Polska

Issue

Vol 65, No 5 (2014)

Pages

388-396

Published online

2014-10-09

DOI

10.5603/EP.2014.0054

Bibliographic record

Endokrynologia Polska 2014;65(5):388-396.

Keywords

radiotherapy
Graves' orbitopathy
orbitopathy

Authors

Marek Ruchała
Aleksandra Hernik
Ariadna Zybek

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