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, 19 (3), 351-8

Efficacy and Safety of Low Dose Oral Prednisolone as Compared to Pulse Intravenous Methylprednisolone in Managing Moderate Severe Graves' Orbitopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Efficacy and Safety of Low Dose Oral Prednisolone as Compared to Pulse Intravenous Methylprednisolone in Managing Moderate Severe Graves' Orbitopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ajitesh Roy et al. Indian J Endocrinol Metab.

Abstract

Background: High dose oral prednisolone (100 mg/day) in Graves' orbitopathy (GO) is limited by lesser response, and greater side-effects compared to intravenous (iv) methylprednisolone. Low dose oral prednisolone has not been evaluated in GO. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of low dose oral prednisolone in GO.

Materials and methods: A total of 114 consecutive GO patients were screened of which 65 patients with previously untreated moderate-severe GO, clinical activity score (CAS) >2, without co-morbid states were randomized into treatment Group-A (iv methylprednisolone 0.5 g for 3 days/month for 4 months) and Group-B (oral prednisolone 1 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks then tapered stopped), and followed-up. Thirty-one patients in each group with at least 1-year follow-up were analyzed. Responders were defined as improvement in ≥ 1 major response criteria or ≥ 2 minor response criteria. The trial is registered at ctri.nic.in (CTRI/2013/12/004264).

Results: At 1-year, 27/31 (87.10%) patients were responders in Group-A compared to 17/31 (54.84%) in Group-B (P = 0.005). There was a greater improvement in CAS score in patients of Group-A as compared to Group-B (P < 0.001). Responders (n = 44) had significantly higher baseline intra-ocular pressures and left eye proptosis as compared to nonresponders. Cox-regression revealed baseline T4 levels, diplopia, and smoking history were predictive of remission. Low dose prednisolone was well tolerated, and the occurrence of adverse events were comparable in both groups.

Conclusions: Low dose oral prednisolone is inferior to iv pulse methylprednisolone in managing GO, having a comparable side-effect profile. It can be a safe second line alternative in patients intolerant to pulse iv methylprednisolone.

Keywords: Graves’ orbitopathy; methylprednisolone; prednisolone.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flowchart elaborating the study protocol. CAS: Clinical activity score, Group-A: Patients randomized to receive pulse intravenous methylprednisolone, Group-B: Patients randomized to receive oral prednisolone

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