Planning health care for patients with Graves' orbitopathy

I.V. Sasim*, T.T. Berendschot, C. van Isterdael, M.P. Mourits

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    BACKGROUND: To describe disease parameters of patients with Graves' orbitopathy in a tertiary referral center in order to plan health care resource allocations. To investigate whether the clinical activity and/or the severity of the disease can be used as a predictor of the duration of treatment. METHODS: Retrospective, observational, non-comparative case series. One hundred and seventeen charts of GO-patients, randomly chosen out of a pool of 1600, referred to the Orbital Unit of the University Medical Centre Utrecht between 1 January 1992 and 1 January 2002, were analysed. Relevant parameters, such as age, gender, race, disease duration, smoking habits, concomitant diseases, previous treatment, symptoms and signs, number and sort of investigations, severity and activity scores, number and sort of treatments, treatment duration and outcome of treatment were retrieved and analysed. Disease activity and severity at entry were tested as possible predictors of disease duration and extent of treatment. RESULTS: Clinical profile at presentation; duration of the disease; extent of treatment; predictors of disease duration and of number of treatment interventions were the main outcome measures. Three percent of patients had Only Signs, but No Symptoms (OSNS), 61% had mild, 27% had moderately severe and 9% had severe GO. Fifteen percent had inactive disease at presentation, 65% had borderline activity and only 20% had active orbitopathy. Sixty percent complained about eyelid swelling and/or proptosis. The average period of eye treatment was 2.5 years (range: 0-110 months), during which patients were seen at an average of 8 times. Twenty percent needed no treatment at all. Fifteen percent were treated with nothing but lubricants and/or prisms. Twenty-five percent were treated with immunosuppressive modalities. Fifty-six percent underwent one or more surgical corrections. The Clinical Activity Score (CAS) was found to be significantly related to the duration of the treatment (p < 0.001), to the number of visits (p < 0.001), and to the number of surgical interventions (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of GO patients referred to a tertiary referral centre has no or borderline disease activity and 'mild' orbitopathy, disfiguring eyelids and proptosis being the most frequent complaints. The disease activity as assessed with the CAS can be used to predict the duration and extent of the treatment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1315-21
    JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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