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Botulinum toxin A treatment of overactive corrugator supercilii in thyroid eye disease
  1. Jane M Olver
  1. Western Eye Hospital, Marylebone Road, London NW1


    BACKGROUND/AIM Patients with thyroid eye disease with upper eyelid retraction often develop overaction of the accessory muscles of eyelid closure, the glabellar muscles corrugator supercilii and procerus. The resultant glabellar furrowing (frown lines) contributes to the typical thyroid facies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of botulinum toxin A reversible chemodenervation of the glabellar muscles as adjunctive treatment in the rehabilitation of patients with thyroid eye disease.

    METHODS 14 patients (13 females) ages 39–76 years (mean 52) with inactive thyroid eye disease and associated medial eyebrow ptosis and prominent glabellar frown lines were recruited. All patients had a history of upper eyelid retraction. Each patient was treated with a single botulinum toxin injection (Dysport 0.2 ml, 40 units) into each corrugator supercilii and sometimes procerus muscles as an outpatient procedure. The effectiveness and acceptability of the treatment was assessed clinically and from a patient questionnaire.

    RESULTS The injections were tolerated by 13/14 (93%) patients. There was resultant flattening of the glabellar region and improvement of medial eyebrow contour in all patients, with onset of paralysis within 1 week. All patients reported a subjective improvement in appearance. Side effects included one patient (7%) with reversible partial ptosis. The beneficial effect lasted 4–6 months, with a gradual return of function. Repeat treatment was indicated where there was persistent upper eyelid retraction and protractor overaction.

    CONCLUSION Botulinum toxin A chemodenervation of the glabellar muscles in these patients was effective and acceptable. Chemodenervation should be considered in the rehabilitation of patients with thyroid eye disease where there is upper eyelid retraction and overacting protractors resulting in a thyroid frown. Once the eyelid retraction has been successfully treated by surgery, the need for further glabella muscle chemodenervation is considerably reduced.

    • botulinum toxin A
    • corrugator supercilii
    • frown lines
    • thyroid eye disease

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