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Treatment of Upper Eyelid Retraction Related to Thyroid-associated Ophthalmopathy Using Subconjunctival Triamcinolone Injections

Information source: Yonsei University
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Thyroid-associated Ophthalmopathy

Intervention: subconjunctival triamcinolone injection (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Yonsei University


Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO) is an autoimmune process that can affect the orbital and periorbital tissues and the thyroid gland. Periorbital inflammation can cause swelling, fatty infiltration, and scarring of the eyelid muscles resulting in eyelid retraction and upper scleral exposure, which is the most common clinical features of TAO. Even with mild eyelid retraction and swelling, most patients become disappointed and depressed due to their cosmetically unacceptable appearance, and they are unwilling to wait for spontaneous resolution or a clinically inactive period for surgical intervention. Thus, most ophthalmologists and endocrinologists recommend surgery in the chronic burnt-out stage. Several treatment options have been described for correction of eyelid retraction, including Botox and filler injection, and surgeries in the burnt-out stage such as lowering the upper lid by recessing the levator muscle, excision of Müller's muscle, introducing a spacer, or myotomies. Surgical options have significant risks as well as an unpredictable course and outcome in some cases. Several authors have reported that subconjunctival botulinum toxin injection provides an immediate, effective treatment by reducing excessive levator function in patients who suffer from disfiguring eyelid appearance and do not want to wait for surgery for upper eyelid retraction. Botox treatment is usually temporary. However, unwanted ptosis, although temporary, was observed in five out of 24 patients (20. 8%) in the study by Costa, which may be even more disappointing and cosmetically unacceptable to some patients. Recently, hyaluronic acid gel fillers, which were injected into the subconjunctival levator-Muller plane, demonstrated efficacy in managing Graves' eyelid retraction in three patients. However, complications such as a lumps, fluid buildup, and skin pigment darkening may occur using this technique. Steroid treatment represents a well-established TAO management strategy due to its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive actions. However, multiple systemic side effects such as diabetes, infection, hypertension, osteoporosis, and stomach ulcers are major drawbacks of systemic steroid treatment. Due to limitations of systemic steroid treatment, several studies reported TAO improvement with periorbital injections of methylprednisolone and triamcinolone, primarily focusing on reducing proptosis and diplopia. So far, however, only a single small case series study has suggested that an injection of 20 mg triamcinolone into the subconjunctival region of the lid, between the conjunctiva and Muller's muscle, improves upper eyelid retraction within 1 month in three of the four patients. The investigators are not aware of any study designed to demonstrate the treatment efficacy of locally administered triamcinolone to improve eyelid retraction and swelling in a prospective manner. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate both the short-term and long-term effects of subconjunctival triamcinolone injections in treating eyelid retraction and inflammatory swelling caused by TAO.

Clinical Details

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: change of Eyelid retraction grade

Secondary outcome: change of Eyelid swelling


Minimum age: 19 Years. Maximum age: 75 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- TAO symptom duration less than 6 months

- Eyelid retraction or swelling

- Participants who is able to sign a consent agreement and proceed study

Exclusion Criteria:

- Previous steroid or radiation treatment for TAO

- Compressive optic neuropathy

- Suspicious of glaucoma or high risk of intraocular pressure elevation

- Patients with eyeball pain and/ or 4 or more of Mourtis' clinical activity score(CAS)

- Patients who are not in euthyroid status at the start of study period and or the

whole duration of study period

- Pregnant or breast feeding women

Locations and Contacts

Severance hospital, Seoul 120-752, Korea, Republic of
Additional Information

Starting date: May 2012
Last updated: January 26, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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