How are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism managed in patients with Graves ophthalmopathy?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Correction of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is important for the ophthalmopathy. Antithyroid drugs and thyroidectomy do not influence the course of the ophthalmopathy, whereas radioiodine treatment may exacerbate preexisting ophthalmopathy but can be prevented by glucocorticoids. However, Japanese patients may not respond well to prophylactic use of low-dose glucocorticosteroids. [53] No beneficial effect of glucocorticoid prophylaxis was found in patients without preexisting clinical evidence of ophthalmopathy. [54] In the long term, thyroid ablation may be beneficial for ophthalmopathy because of the decrease in antigens shared by the thyroid and the orbit in the autoimmune reactions. In general, treatment of hyperthyroidism is associated with an improvement of ophthalmopathy, but hypothyroidism must be avoided because it worsens ophthalmopathy. [55, 56, 57]

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