Asymmetry indicates more severe and active disease in Graves’ orbitopathy: results from a prospective cross-sectional multicentre study

The European Group on Graves’ Orbitopathy, P. Perros, M. P. Žarković, G. C. Panagiotou, C. Azzolini, G. Ayvaz, L. Baldeschi, L. Bartalena, A. M. Boschi, M. Nardi, T. H. Brix, D. Covelli, C. Daumerie, A. K. Eckstein, N. Fichter, S. Ćirić, L. Hegedüs, G. J. Kahaly, O. Konuk, J. J. LareidaO. E. Okosieme, M. Leo, L. Mathiopoulou, L. Clarke, F. Menconi, D. S. Morris, J. Orgiazzi, S. Pitz, M. Salvi, I. Muller, M. Knežević, W. M. Wiersinga, N. Currò, C. M. Dayan, C. Marcocci, M. Marinò, L. Möller, S. H. Pearce, F. Törüner, M. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Patients with Graves’ orbitopathy can present with asymmetric disease. The aim of this study was to identify clinical characteristics that distinguish asymmetric from unilateral and symmetric Graves’ orbitopathy. Methods: This was a multi-centre study of new referrals to 13 European Group on Graves’ Orbitopathy (EUGOGO) tertiary centres. New patients presenting over a 4 month period with a diagnosis of Graves’ orbitopathy were included. Patient demographics were collected and a clinical examination was performed based on a previously published protocol. Patients were categorized as having asymmetric, symmetric, and unilateral Graves’ orbitopathy. The distribution of clinical characteristics among the three groups was documented. Results: The asymmetric group (n = 83), was older than the symmetric (n = 157) group [mean age 50.9 years (SD 13.9) vs 45.8 (SD 13.5), p = 0.019], had a lower female to male ratio than the symmetric and unilateral (n = 29) groups (1.6 vs 5.0 vs 8.7, p < 0.001), had more active disease than the symmetric and unilateral groups [mean linical Activity Score 3.0 (SD 1.6) vs 1.7 (SD 1.7), p < 0.001 vs 1.3 (SD 1.4), p < 0.001] and significantly more severe disease than the symmetric and unilateral groups, as measured by the Total Eye Score [mean 8.8 (SD 6.6) vs 5.3 (SD 4.4), p < 0.001, vs 2.7 (SD 2.1), p < 0.001]. Conclusion: Older age, lower female to male ratio, more severe, and more active disease cluster around asymmetric Graves’ orbitopathy. Asymmetry appears to be a marker of more severe and more active disease than other presentations. This simple clinical parameter present at first presentation to tertiary centres may be valuable to clinicians who manage such patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1717-1722
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Asymmetric
  • Graves’
  • Orbitopathy
  • Thyroid
  • Unilateral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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