Purpose: To assess the effect of etanercept, an antitumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug, on clinical signs in Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO).MethodsA total of 10 consecutive patients (seven female, three male) with recent-onset, active, mildly-to-moderately severe GO were treated with subcutaneous injections of 25mg etanercept (Enbrel®) twice weekly during 12 weeks. The average age was 50 years (range: 39-59 years). The average duration of GO was 4 months (range: 2-6 months). All patients were at least 2 months euthyroid with medication. The mean pretreatment clinical activity score (CAS) was 4 (range: 3-6). Results: The mean CAS prior to treatment was 4, at 6 weeks 2.6, and at 12 weeks 1.6. The mean ophthalmopathy index (OI) prior to treatment was 5.8, at 6 weeks 4.8, and at 12 weeks 4.4. Thus, after 12 weeks of treatment the mean CAS had decreased by 2.4±1.3 (60±), and the mean OI had decreased by 1.4±1.2 (24±). The main decrease of the CAS and OI was noted at 6 weeks of treatment. The difference was particularly evident on soft-tissue changes, including periocular chemosis and redness. The mean exophthalmometry values did not change. In all, 60% percent of patients reported moderate to marked improvement. In three patients, the GO flared up again after cessation of treatment. There were no serious adverse events or side effects during a mean follow-up time of 18 months. Conclusions: This study strongly suggests that etanercept may suppress the clinical signs in GO, but randomized controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the effect of anti-TNF treatment and to compare its side-effects with those of corticosteroids.

Etanercept, Ophthalmopathy, Thyroid, TNF
dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.eye.6701768, hdl.handle.net/1765/68081
Department of Ophthalmology

Paridaens, A.D.A, van den Bosch, W.A, van der Loos, T.L, Krenning, E.P, & van Hagen, P.M. (2005). The effect of etanercept on Graves' ophthalmopathy: A pilot study. Eye, 19(12), 1286–1289. doi:10.1038/sj.eye.6701768