Update on Graves disease: advances in treatment of mild, moderate and severe thyroid eye disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To report the most recent therapeutic advances of thyroid eye disease (TED) and offer general recommendations for management of TED.

Recent findings

Treatment of Graves ophthalmopathy is traditionally based on the use of high doses of corticosteroids and/or radiotherapy (RT) to decrease the activity of the disease, with the subsequent proptosis, strabismus and eyelid deformites treated with different surgical procedures. In recent years, the evidence that oxidative stress plays a relevant role in exacerbating TED severity has encouraged the use of antioxydative agents such as selenium, which has shown a capacity in limiting the disease progression. In addition, reports have shown the effectiveness of biological immunosuppressive agents in the management of TED. The main advantage of these medications seems to be the long lasting effects, which may reduce recurrence, and effectiveness in steroid-resistant cases. The reported increased accuracy of imaging techniques in evaluating fat and muscle volumes may provide useful information for surgical management.

Summary

The use of selenium, in mild TED, seems to limit disease progression without carrying the risk of relevant side-effects. Biological agents may provide an effective and long lasting block of the inflammatory activity of TED, with a possible lower risk of recurrence and reduction in the need for surgical intervention in moderate-to-severe disease. The accurate evaluation of fat and muscle volume, using a recently published algorithm for imaging, gives relevant information for preoperative assessment, allowing the customization of orbital decompression.

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