Lack of effect of long-term octreotide therapy in severe thyroid-associated dermopathy

Pnina Rotman-Pikielny, Françoise Brucker-Davis, Maria L. Turner, Nicholas J. Sarlis, Monica C. Skarulis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Severe thyroid associated dermopathy (TAD), a rare complication of Graves' disease, currently lacks effective treatment. Mediators of growth and inflammation, including insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and somatostatin (SST) have been implicated in its pathogenesis. Octreotide, a potent SST analogue, has been used in TAD with anecdotal success. Therefore, we evaluated the efficacy of long-term octreotide therapy in moderate to severe TAD. Three obese women with TAD were studied. Baseline treatment included levothyroxine, methimazole, fluocinonide ointment under occlusive dressing, and physiotherapy for lymphedema. After establishing baseline clinical status, octreotide was started (300 μg subcutaneously daily) for 10 to 28 months. Studies obtained at baseline and every 3 months included: leg circumference, skin examination, clinical photography, self-reported clinical status, body mass index (BMI), serum thyrotropin (TSH) and free thyroxine, titers of antithyroidal and anti-TSH receptor antibodies. Minimal changes in the edema, erythema, skin texture and size of nodules were observed. The minor changes seen followed significant decreases in the patients' BMI, and hence, cannot be specifically attributed to octreotide administration. No clinically significant benefit from long-term octreotide therapy was demonstrated in three patients with moderate to severe TAD. Weight loss and measures such as compression bandaging and topical corticosteroid application still remain the most cost effective treatment modalities for TAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesZIADK075005


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