The quantitative evaluation of orbital fat proliferation and edema and the assessment of extraocular muscles are useful for diagnosing and monitoring thyroid-associated orbitopathy. To evaluate therapy-induced quantitative changes in the orbital fat of patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy, we performed volumetric and water fraction measurements by using T2-weighted FSE iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (FSE-IDEAL) imaging.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Orbital FSE-IDEAL images of 30 volunteers were acquired twice within 1 week. Nine patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy underwent FSE-IDEAL imaging before and after methylprednisolone pulse therapy, and the treatment results were assessed by using their pre- and post-methylprednisolone pulse therapy clinical activity scores. We performed volumetric and water fraction measurements of orbital fat by using FSE-IDEAL imaging and evaluated interscan differences in the volunteers. In patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy, we compared pre- and posttherapy orbital fat measurements and assessed the correlation between the pretherapy values and clinical activity score improvement.RESULTS:
The reproducibility of results obtained by the quantitative evaluation of orbital fat in volunteers was acceptable. After methylprednisolone pulse therapy, the water fraction in the orbital fat of patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy was significantly decreased (P < .001). There was a significant positive correlation between the pretherapy water fraction and clinical activity score improvement (right, r = 0.82; left, r = 0.79) and a significant negative correlation between the pretherapy volume and clinical activity score improvement (bilateral, r = –0.84).CONCLUSIONS:
Volumetric and water fraction measurements of orbital fat by using FSE-IDEAL imaging are feasible and useful for monitoring the effects of therapy and for predicting the response of patients with thyroid-associated orbitopathy to methylprednisolone pulse therapy.