Are systemic corticosteroids useful in the management of orbital pseudotumors?

I. Mombaerts, R. O. Schlingemann, R. Goldschmeding, L. Koornneef

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PURPOSE: Systemic corticosteroids are the established primary treatment for orbital pseudotumors, but patients with recurrent and refractory pseudotumors commonly are observed. In this retrospective study, the authors aimed to assess the value of corticosteroids in the management of orbital pseudotumor. METHODS: The clinical notes, computed tomography scans, and histologic specimens of patients with orbital pseudotumor seen at the Orbital Center, Amsterdam, between 1976 and 1994 were analyzed with particular regard to the clinical and visual outcome. The patients were categorized according to the anatomic location of the pseudotumor within the orbit. Patients with pseudotumors restricted to the lacrimal gland or an extraocular muscle were excluded. RESULTS: The authors studied 32 patients with orbital pseudotumor, 20 of whom had histopathologic confirmation. Twenty-seven of these 32 patients received systemic corticosteroids as an initial treatment. Of these 27 patients, 21 (78%) showed an initial response and 10 (37%) obtained a cure. After the initial response, 11 (52%) of the 21 patients recurred. Optic nerve involvement was present in 13 (41%) of the 32 patients, and all except 1 patient recovered with corticotherapy. The mean follow-up of therapy was 4.3 years (range, 5.3 months-21.5 years). CONCLUSION: The authors found a moderate response, a high recurrence, and a low cure rate in patients treated with corticosteroids for orbital pseudotumor, and they therefore challenge the value of corticosteroids in both diagnosing and treating this condition. However, in patients with pseudotumor-induced optic neuropathy, corticosteroids remain of value
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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