CT dimensions of the lacrimal gland in Graves orbitopathy

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. Jan-Feb 2012;28(1):69-72. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e31823c4a3a.


Purpose: To determine if lacrimal dimensions are enlarged in Graves orbitopathy on CT and to correlate size with clinical data.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-eight adult Caucasian patients with Graves orbitopathy who had CT at initial presentation to the authors' clinic were identified. The lacrimal gland width and length were measured on axial and coronal scans using the OsiriX software according to an established protocol. Comparison of dimensions with a published normal population was made. Clinical data near the time of CT were collected, including gender, age, smoking, subjective diplopia, exophthalmometry, intraocular pressure, corneal staining, and the VISA activity score for correlation with gland size.

Results: The lacrimal glands in Graves orbitopathy were significantly larger in all measured dimensions (p = 0.0001 for each dimension). There were no differences between the genders (p values ranged between 0.3855 and 0.8699). Exophthalmometry showed weak correlation with gland size in all dimensions (p value range, 0.0058 to <0.0001; r value range, -0.2616 to 0.4181). Smoking correlated significantly with gland enlargement in right coronal and axial width dimensions (p = 0.0150 and p = 0.0232, respectively). VISA inflammatory score was borderline correlated with right axial width. Lacrimal gland size did not correlate with diplopia, intraocular pressure, or corneal staining.

Conclusions: The lacrimal gland is statistically significantly enlarged in Graves orbitopathy. Only weak correlation was found between gland enlargement and smoking, proptosis, and inflammatory activity. Future research will address the causal changes of enlargement and their effect on lacrimal function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult