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Treatment of severe idiopathic orbital inflammation with intravenous methylprednisolone
  1. Ward R Bijlsma1,
  2. Dion Paridaens2,
  3. Rachel Kalmann1
  1. 1University Medical Center Utrecht, Department of Ophthalmology, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ward R Bijlsma, University Medical Center Utrecht, Department of Ophthalmology, E03.136 Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands; w.r.bijlsma{at}


Background Prednisone pulse therapy is used to treat active non-infectious orbital inflammatory disease to attain faster clinical improvement and to shorten the duration of prednisone treatment. This study addresses the use of intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) pulse therapy, in addition to oral prednisone (OP), in the treatment of severe idiopathic orbital inflammation (IOI).

Methods This was a multicentre retrospective cohort study. Patients with severe IOI treated with IVMP pulse and OP therapy (IVMP+OP) were compared with patients with IOI who were treated only with OP. Main outcome measures were duration of prednisone treatment, symptom-free outcome and complications.

Results Between 2000 and 2007, 12 patients with severe IOI were treated with IVMP+OP and 15 patients were treated with OP only. The median treatment duration was 160 (range 34–680) days in the IVMP+OP group and 110 (range 27–730) days in the OP-only group. In patients who had severe IOI, 73% in the IVMP+OP group and 87% in the OP-only group were symptom-free after treatment. No patients developed complications related to prednisone therapy.

Conclusion In our study there was no advantage of treating patients with severe IOI with IVMP+OP in terms of shortened treatment duration, lower cumulative dose or decrease in persistent symptoms. We suggest that the indication of IVMP in the treatment of severe IOI is limited to speeding symptom relief and recovery from optic nerve dysfunction.

  • Idiopathic orbital inflammation
  • pseudotumour
  • prednisone
  • intravenous methylprednisolone
  • orbit
  • immunology
  • inflammation
  • drugs
  • treatment medical

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  • See Editorial, p 1043

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  • Funding This research was facilitated by an unrestricted grant from the F.P. Fischer Foundation. Postbus 2756 3800 GJ Amersfoort.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and adheres to the Dutch law of studies on human subjects.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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