Thyroid Eye Disease

Heterogeneous nature of thyroid eye disease impacts treatment options

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During a presentation at AAO 2022, Sara T Wester, MD, highlighted the heterogeneous nature of thyroid eye disease (TED) and how much is still left to learn concerning the different subtypes of this disease.

“This is a really heterogenous disease,” she said. “We can’t say ‘this works for everybody’ with any of these treatment modalities. Surgy doesn’t work for everybody, medicine doesn’t work for everybody. We really need to better understand that and get a better sense of these subtypes.”

With different clinicians using different terminology and different characteristic, there is not yet a consensus on subtypes of TED and how to clearly define them.

“As we go on and are learning more about TED, we’re really starting to understand that perhaps there are many different types of subtypes for this disease,” Dr Webster told the audience. “I don’t think every surgery, or every therapy, fits every patient.

The key things to think about when treating patients with TED are disease activity and severity. Activity gives an indication as to whether the disease is active or stable whereas severity demonstrates the degree of function or cosmetic deficit.

Dr Wester hopes that as TED subtypes are better understood, patient outcomes will improve.

“If we can start treating patients early in the disease, and most importantly understand why certain patients go this way, and other patients have very severe disease… then we can better target them with better therapies potentially to prevent the whole process in the first place.”

Wester ST. Take It Up an Octave! Elevating Your Treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease. Poster presented at: AAO 2022.