Radiotherapy for thyroid orbitopathy. Effects on extraocular muscle balance

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995 Nov;113(11):1420-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1995.01100110080029.


Objective: To investigate the effects of radiotherapy on the restrictive ophthalmopathy and strabismus that occur with Graves' orbitopathy.

Design: A prospective study of patients with motility disturbances due to thyroid orbitopathy, followed by serial quantitative measurements of ocular restrictions and deviations, both before and at 1 and 6 months after treatment with high-energy radiotherapy.

Setting: Urban subspecialty private practice.

Patients: Thirty-three consecutive patients with restricted extraocular movements and diplopia secondary to thyroid orbitopathy who were treated with radiotherapy were seen during an 8-year period.

Measures: Maximal horizontal and vertical ductions, plus ocular deviations in primary and reading positions of gaze, were quantitatively evaluated by one clinical investigator to ensure consistency.

Results: Statistically significant improvement in gaze restriction on supraduction and improvement of vertical and horizontal strabismus were demonstrated at follow-up visits after treatment.

Conclusions: Although statistically significant improvement of motility disturbances were demonstrated after radiotherapy, there was less than desirable functional improvement of restrictive ophthalmopathy and strabismus; thus the usefulness of radiotherapy was limited when it was used alone to treat diplopia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diplopia / etiology
  • Diplopia / physiopathology
  • Diplopia / radiotherapy
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / complications
  • Graves Disease / physiopathology
  • Graves Disease / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / etiology
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / radiotherapy*
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies