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Endocrinol Nutr. 2013 Jan;60(1):10-4. doi: 10.1016/j.endonu.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Clinical efficacy of intravenous glucocorticoid treatment in Graves' ophtalmopathy.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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  • 1Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía, Córdoba, España. mralhambra@hotmail.com



To assess the efficacy of intermittent, high-dose treatment with intravenous glucocorticoids (IV GCs) in moderate to severe Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO).


Patients with GO treated with IV GCs from August 2007 to August 2011 at the Endocrinology Department of Reina Sofía Hospital were enrolled into the study. IV pulse prednisolone (7.5 mg/kg/day) was administered twice weekly every two weeks for 6 weeks, and at half the dose for 6 additional weeks.


Eighteen patients (mean age, 43 ± 11 years) with moderate to severe GO were analyzed (83.3% females). Four were active smokers, five former smokers, and the rest had never smoked. Hyperthyroidism due to Graves' disease was found in 66.7% of patients, 41.6% of whom had received radioiodine therapy. Response to treatment was satisfactory in 72.2%, partial in 11.1%, and poor in 16.7%. Mild side effects were reported by 5 patients. Before treatment, 83.3% had diplopia, 33.3% eyelid retraction, 72.2% eye pain, and 44.4% exophthalmos. After treatment, only 33.3% had diplopia (P=.004), 5.6% eyelid retraction (P=.063), 16.7% eye pain (P=.002), and 11.1% exophthalmos (P=.031). Response to treatment was not related to the underlying disease (P=.866), prior radioiodine treatment (P=.447), or smoking status (P=.368).


Intravenous glucocorticoid therapy decreased activity in patients with moderate to severe active GO, with major improvement occurring in diplopia, eye pain, and exophthalmos. Side effects were mild and uncommon. Treatment response was independent from the underlying disease, prior radioiodine treatment, or smoking status.

Copyright © 2012 SEEN. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

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