The eye and thyroid disease

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Purpose of reviewThe pathophysiology and optimal management of thyroid eye disease (TED) have not yet been elucidated. Recent studies have increased our knowledge of the disease process and different diagnostic and therapeutic options. This review highlights the recent progress in TED research and identifies areas requiring further advancements.Recent findingsThe pathophysiology of TED likely involves genetic and environmental factors, which may potentiate cellular and humoral-mediated inflammation within the orbit. Despite progress in TED research, a target antigen has not been established with certainty. New diagnostic methods and questionnaires are being developed that potentially provide information regarding inflammatory activity of TED. Corticosteroids alone or in combination with orbital radiation may be effective in improving TED symptoms. New immunomodulating therapies may also have a role TED management. Surgery is highly effective for treatment of TED-induced optic nerve compression and for managing the chronic soft tissue changes of TED.SummaryA unifying hypothesis of TED pathophysiology is elusive. Further bench research into the autoimmune process is needed. In addition, large, prospective, randomized clinical trials based on the inflammatory activity of disease, while difficult to design, are essential to develop a consensus regarding the proper timing and use of anti-inflammatory medications.

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