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G. Kahaly, W. Lieb, W. Müller-Forell, M. Mainberger, J. Beyer, J. Vollmar, and Ch. Staiger


The influence of ciamexone on the activity and course of endocrine orbitopathy was investigated. Fifty-one patients with active orbitopathy classes II-VI were allocated randomly to two groups: over a period of six months, 26 patients received 300 mg/day ciamexone and 25 patients received placebo tablets. In both groups, prednisolone was administered in addition in the first four weeks. Ophthalmological investigations and clinical tests as well as orbit sonography were carried out before as well as one, three and six months after the beginning of therapy. Before and after treatment, computer tomography of the orbit was performed. Symptoms and signs did not show any significant improvement one and six months after therapy. No differences between the two therapy groups were observed. Detailed examination did not reveal any preferential action of the product on individual parameters. Sonography and computer tomography showed no significant alterations of the thickness of the oculomotor muscles. Thus administration of 300 mg ciamexone once a day as compared with placebo did not show any effect on the course and activity of endocrine orbitopathy.

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G. Benker, D. Reinwein, H. Creutzig, H. Hirche, W. D. Alexander, D. McCruden, G. Galvan, G. Kahály, J. Beyer, J. H. Lazarus, H. Schatz, H. Schleusener, H.-G. Schneider, R. Ziegler, L. Tegler, and O. R. Nilson

Abstract. In spite of the long-established use of antithyroid drugs, there are many unsettled questions connected with this treatment of Graves' disease. There is a lack of controlled prospective trials studying the results of antithyroid drug therapy while considering the many variables such as disease heterogeneity, regional differences, drug dosage and duration of treatment. Therefore, a multicenter study has been set up in order to compare the effects of two fixed doses of methimazole (10 vs 40 mg) with thyroid hormone supplementation on the clinical, biochemical and immunological course of Graves' disease and on remission rates. Experience accumulated so far suggests that treatment is safe using either 10 or 40 mg of methimazole. While there is a tendency for an advantage of the higher dose within the first weeks (higher effectiveness in controlling hyperthyroidism), this difference is not significant. The impact of dosage on remission rates remains to be shown.

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W M Wiersinga, P Perros, G J Kahaly, M P Mourits, L Baldeschi, K Boboridis, A Boschi, A J Dickinson, P Kendall-Taylor, G E Krassas, C M Lane, J H Lazarus, C Marcocci, M Marino, M Nardi, C Neoh, J Orgiazzi, A Pinchera, S Pitz, M F Prummel, M S Sartini, M Stahl, and G von Arx

Group-author : The European Group on Graves’ Orbitopathy (EUGOGO)

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P Perros, L Baldeschi, K Boboridis, A J Dickinson, A Hullo, G J Kahaly, P Kendall-Taylor, G E Krassas, C M Lane, J H Lazarus, C Marcocci, M Marino, M P Mourits, M Nardi, J Orgiazzi, A Pinchera, S Pitz, M F Prummel, and W M Wiersinga

Group-author : The European Group of Graves’ Orbitopathy

Objective: To determine management patterns among clinicians who treat patients with Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) in Europe.

Design and methods: Questionnaire survey including a case scenario of members of professional organisations representing endocrinologists, ophthalmologists and nuclear medicine physicians.

Results: A multidisciplinary approach to manage GO was valued by 96.3% of responders, although 31.5% did not participate or refer to a multidisciplinary team and 21.5% of patients with GO treated by responders were not managed in a multidisciplinary setting. Access to surgery for sight-threatening GO was available only within weeks or months according to 59.5% of responders. Reluctance to refer urgently to an ophthalmologist was noted by 32.7% of responders despite the presence of suspected optic neuropathy. The use of steroids was not influenced by the age of the patient, but fewer responders chose to use steroids in a diabetic patient (72.1 vs 90.5%, P < 0.001). Development of cushingoid features resulted in a reduction in steroid use (90.5 vs 36.5%, P < 0.001) and increase in the use of orbital irradiation (from 23.8% to 40.4%, P < 0.05) and surgical decompression (from 20.9 to 52.9%, P < 0.001). More ophthalmologists chose surgical decompression for patients with threatened vision due to optic neuropathy, who were intolerant to steroids than other specialists (70.3 vs 41.8%, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Deficiencies in the management of patients with GO in Europe were identified by this survey. Further training of clinicians, easier access of patients to specialist multidisciplinary centres and the publication of practice guidelines may help improve the management of this condition in Europe.

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L Bartalena, G J Kahaly, L Baldeschi, C M Dayan, A Eckstein, C Marcocci, M Marinò, B Vaidya, W M Wiersinga, and EUGOGO

Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is the main extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves’ disease (GD). Choice of treatment should be based on the assessment of clinical activity and severity of GO. Early referral to specialized centers is fundamental for most patients with GO. Risk factors include smoking, thyroid dysfunction, high serum level of thyrotropin receptor antibodies, radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment, and hypercholesterolemia. In mild and active GO, control of risk factors, local treatments, and selenium (selenium-deficient areas) are usually sufficient; if RAI treatment is selected to manage GD, low-dose oral prednisone prophylaxis is needed, especially if risk factors coexist. For both active moderate-to-severe and sight-threatening GO, antithyroid drugs are preferred when managing Graves’ hyperthyroidism. In moderate-to-severe and active GO i.v. glucocorticoids are more effective and better tolerated than oral glucocorticoids. Based on current evidence and efficacy/safety profile, costs and reimbursement, drug availability, long-term effectiveness, and patient choice after extensive counseling, a combination of i.v. methylprednisolone and mycophenolate sodium is recommended as first-line treatment. A cumulative dose of 4.5 g of i.v. methylprednisolone in 12 weekly infusions is the optimal regimen. Alternatively, higher cumulative doses not exceeding 8 g can be used as monotherapy in most severe cases and constant/inconstant diplopia. Second-line treatments for moderate-to-severe and active GO include (a) the second course of i.v. methylprednisolone (7.5 g) subsequent to careful ophthalmic and biochemical evaluation, (b) oral prednisone/prednisolone combined with either cyclosporine or azathioprine; (c) orbital radiotherapy combined with oral or i.v. glucocorticoids, (d) teprotumumab; (e) rituximab and (f) tocilizumab. Sight-threatening GO is treated with several high single doses of i.v. methylprednisolone per week and, if unresponsive, with urgent orbital decompression. Rehabilitative surgery (orbital decompression, squint, and eyelid surgery) is indicated for inactive residual GO manifestations.