Pediatric Thyroid Eye Disease: Clinical Characteristics and Orbital Decompression Outcomes

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Abstract

Purpose:

To review the clinical presentation, disease severity, and surgical interventions of children with thyroid eye disease (TED) at a single institution over a 7-year period.

Methods:

Retrospective cohort study of children 0 to 18 years of age with a diagnosis of TED, seen at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 2009 to 2016. Ophthalmic examination findings, neuroimaging study results, and ophthalmological management were recorded. t-Tests were used to test for statistical significance. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for the study.

Results:

Sixty-seven subjects with pediatric TED were studied: 59 female and 8 male. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.6 years (SD 4.2, range 2.3–17.9). All subjects had proptosis (67, 100%). Other clinical findings were eyelid retraction in 46 (69%), chemosis in 7 (10%), punctate epithelial erosions in 8 (12%), and strabismus in 1 (1.5%). No subjects had evidence of optic neuropathy. Five subjects with static-phase TED received orbital decompression surgery for exposure keratopathy and disfigurement. All had significant cosmetic improvement and resolution of exposure keratopathy.

Discussion:

In this series, children with TED generally exhibit mild ocular signs, which is in agreement with past studies. Our study presented a high incidence of proptosis compared with other studies; however, this may represent a referral bias to our quaternary care center.

Conclusion:

Pediatric TED patients exhibit mild symptoms, such as proptosis and eyelid retraction without strabismus, vision loss, or optic neuropathy. Some children with TED have severe disfigurement and corneal exposure due to the disease and benefit from orbital decompression.

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