Evaluation of medical and surgical decompression in patients with dysthyroid optic neuropathy

A Correction to this article was published on 20 May 2020

This article has been updated



To evaluate the effectiveness of steroid-pulse therapy and three-wall orbital decompression in patients with dysthyroid optic neuropathy (DON).


Twenty-five patients (46 eyes) with a diagnosis of DON between 2008 and 2015 were included in the study. The first group (7 patients, 16 eyes) consisted of patients with a steroid-pulse treatment only and the second group (18 patients, 30 eyes) included patients with medical and surgical decompression.


Twenty patients were female; five patients were male. After the diagnosis of DON, all patients were treated with steroid-pulse treatment (intravenous 500 mg prednisolon twice/week for 4 weeks, 250 mg twice/week for 2 weeks) as a first-line treatment (medical decompression). In 30 eyes (18 patients) out of 46 eyes, (25 patients) an orbital decompression was needed to preserve the optic nerve function. In those therapy-resistant cases (surgical decompression group), the orbital decompression led to statistically significant improvements in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), protan and tritan value of the color vision (p = 0.007, p < 0.0001, p = 0.019, respectively, comparison of first visit to last visit).


According to our data, the mild cases of DON with better initial visual acuity (in our case series mean: 0.3 logMAR) seem to respond well to steroid treatment. However, therapy-resistant cases with an impaired initial BCVA (in our case series, mean: 0.6 logMAR) seem to need the surgery to preserve the optic nerve function. In conclusion, this retrospective study confirms the effectiveness of surgical decompression in therapy-resistant cases of DON.

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Change history

  • 20 May 2020

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.


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Correspondence to Aylin Garip Kuebler.

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Garip Kuebler, A., Wiecha, C., Reznicek, L. et al. Evaluation of medical and surgical decompression in patients with dysthyroid optic neuropathy. Eye 34, 1702–1709 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-020-0897-x

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