Differential diagnosis of thyroid orbitopathy - diseases mimicking the clinical picture or activity of thyroid orbitopathy


Mariusz Nowak, Wojciech Nowak, Bogdan Marek, Beata Kos-Kudła, Lucyna Siemińska, Magdalena Londzin-Olesik, Dariusz Kajdaniuk


Thyroid orbitopathy (TO) is the most common cause of orbital tissue inflammation, accounting for about 60% of all orbital inflammations. The inflammatory activity and severity of TO should be diagnosed based on personal experience and according to standard diagnostic criteria. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the orbit is used not only to identify swelling and to differentiate inflammatory active from non-active TO, but also to exclude other pathologies, such as orbital tumors or vascular lesions. However, a group of diseases can mimic the clinical manifestations of TO, leading to serious diagnostic difficulties, especially when the patient has previously been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Diagnostic problems can be presented by cases of unilateral TO, unilateral or bilateral TO in patients with no previous or concomitant symptoms of thyroid disorders, lack of symptoms of eyelid retraction, divergent strabismus, diplopia as the only symptom of the disease, history of increasing diplopia at the end of the day. The lack of visible efficacy of ongoing immunosuppressive treatment should also raise caution and lead to a differential diagnosis of TO. Differential diagnosis of TO and evaluation of its activity includes conditions leading to redness and/or swelling of the conjunctiva and/or eyelids, other causes of ocular motility disorders and eye-setting disorders. In this paper, the authors review the most common diseases that can mimic TO or falsify the assessment of inflammatory activity of TO.

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