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Tocilizumab as a steroid sparing agent for the treatment of Graves' orbitopathy



To describe the effect of tocilizumab in two patients with thyroid associated orbitopathy (TAO).


We present two patients with TAO who could not tolerate corticosteroids and had a reduction in clinical and laboratory markers of inflammatory activity with subsequent tocilizumab therapy.

Conclusions and importance

The IL-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab is a promising candidate for the treatment of TAO because it selectively targets a key inflammatory mediator and has a favorable side effect profile. Our report demonstrates that tocilizumab can achieve further reduction in inflammatory activity after treatment with corticosteroids. Importantly, we and others have observed a decrease in the level of thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) with tocilizumab treatment. This suggests an upstream effect in the inflammatory cascade. Although the impact of tocilizumab on long-term outcome is unknown at this time, we believe that early disruption of the inflammatory process may prevent late complications and decrease the need for rehabilitative surgery.

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