, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 109–124 | Cite as

Current and Emerging Treatment Strategies for Graves’ Orbitopathy

  • Natalia Genere
  • Marius N. StanEmail author
Therapy in Practice


Graves’ orbitopathy is a debilitating disorder which occurs in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease, mainly Graves’ disease, and adds layers of complexity to management of both conditions. We conducted a comprehensive review of literature for publications relating to established and new management options for Graves’ orbitopathy and have summarized key articles in this review. Initial evaluation of patients with Graves’ disease should also include clinical evaluation for orbitopathy. If eye disease is present, patients are best managed by a multi-specialty team including an endocrinologist and ophthalmologist. All patients with Graves’ orbitopathy benefit from risk factor modification and normalization of thyroid function tests. Patients with active, mild disease generally benefit from local therapies and selenium, while patients with moderate-to-severe disease usually require the addition of intravenous glucocorticoid therapy. If there is an inadequate response to glucocorticoid therapy, several second-line therapies have been investigated for use, including orbital radiotherapy (with additional glucocorticoids), rituximab, cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, and methotrexate. Use of new biologic agents, mainly teprotumumab and tocilizumab, have demonstrated impressive reductions in disease activity and severity. If these results are confirmed, the treatment paradigm is likely to change in the future. Finally, there are several novel immunotherapies being investigated for Graves’ disease, which may have treatment implications for Graves’ orbitopathy as well. Overall, there are many encouraging advances in the therapy of Graves’ orbitopathy that are making the future more promising for patients suffering from this disease.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

NG reports no conflicts of interest. MNS reports participating in Advisory Board meeting with Horizon Pharma, manufacturer of teprotumumab.


No funding was received for the preparation of this manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and NutritionMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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