Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(5): 391-396
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1128141
Humans, Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effect of Combined Intravenous Glucocorticoids and Orbital Radiotherapy in Restoring Driving Competency in Patients with Graves’ Orbitopathy

I. Sterker 1 , H. Tegetmeyer 1 , K. Papsdorf 2 , D. Führer-Sakel 3
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Department of Radiation and Radiation Oncology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  • 3Clinic and Policlinic for Endocrinology, Diabetology and Nephrology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

received 18.07.2008

accepted 08.12.2008

Publication Date:
04 February 2009 (online)


Intravenous glucocorticoids and orbital radiotherapy are effective treatments for moderate-to-severe and active Graves’ orbitopathy. We examined the ophthalmological outcome in daily life activities, such as driving competency. In a retrospective case series, 23 patients with moderate-to-severe and active Graves’ disease (14 women and 7 men) were consecutively treated with combined orbital radiotherapy (13 Gy) and intravenous methylprednisolone (500 mg weekly for 6 consecutive weeks and 250 mg weekly for consecutive 6 weeks). The pretreatment Clinical Activity Score of 5.2 points (SD±0.9) decreased significantly to 2.7 points (SD±1.1) in the 12-month follow-up. Inflammatory eye signs, for example, pain and pressure sensation, caruncle inflammation, eyelid swelling, and exophthalmos decreased significantly. However, there was no significant improvement of eye motility. Despite anti-inflammatory treatment, 13 patients (61.9%) were not fit to drive a car under binocular conditions and additional stabismologic therapy including strabismus surgery was required. The combined therapy of intravenous glucocorticoids and orbital radiotherapy reduced inflammatory ophthalmological signs. In most cases strabismologic intervention including eye muscle surgery was necessary to restore driving competency.



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