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A systematic review of outcomes following surgical decompression for dysthyroid orbitopathy




To systematically review and compare the surgical outcomes of orbital decompression for dysthyroid orbitopathy.


Data sources used were PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane search for English-language literature from January 1990 to April 2008, combined with manual review of citations within article bibliographies. Citations acquired from the targeted search were filtered independently by two researchers. Relevant articles were reviewed to obtain information including interventions and outcome measures. Articles were then assigned level-of-evidence grades as defined by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.


A total of 516 citations were generated from which 135 abstracts were regarded as potentially relevant. After other relevant articles identified from the bibliography and duplicate articles excluded, 56 studies were available for analysis. Fifty studies were identified as level 4 and six as level 3 evidence. A total of 2,315 patients were pooled, from which 4,176 orbits were decompressed. Fifteen different surgical techniques were broadly identified. The most common surgical indication was cosmesis. Decompression by combined transpalpebral-endoscopic technique resulted in the highest average reduction in postoperative proptosis. The largest improvement in visual acuity was after coronal approach orbital decompression. The overall complication rate was 9.3%. The most significant complications were vision loss and cerebral vascular accident. The highest complication rate was associated with combined endoscopic and transpalpebral decompression.


There are myriad techniques in practice for decompressing the orbit, but no one technique has yet to achieve consistently good outcome and low complication rates. The reporting of outcomes should conform to a minimum dataset. Laryngoscope, 2009