Neuroimaging of Graves' orbitopathy

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;26(3):259-71. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2011.11.009.


Neuroimaging of Graves' orbitopathy (GO) plays an important role in the differential diagnosis and interdisciplinary management of patients with GO. Orbital imaging is required in unclear or asymmetric proptosis, in suspected optic neuropathy and prior to decompression surgery. Especially computed tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging show the actual objective morphological findings, quantitative MR imaging giving additional information concerning the acuteness or chronicity of the disease. Major morphological diagnostic criteria include a spindle like spreading of the rectus muscles without involvement of the tendon, a compression of the optic nerve in the orbital apex (crowded orbital apex syndrome) and the absence of any space occupying intraorbital process. A longer lasting course of the disease may lead to a corresponding impression of the lamina papyracae, the normally parallel configured medial wall of the orbit, similar to a spontaneous decompression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / diagnosis*
  • Graves Ophthalmopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Octreotide
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography


  • Somatostatin
  • Octreotide