Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Tolosa–Hunt syndrome: Long-Term outcome and role of steroid-sparing agents

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Neurological Sciences, Neurology Unit, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Radiology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Mathew Alexander,
Department of Neurological Sciences, Neurology Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_368_18

Background: Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome (THS) is one of the causes of cavernous sinus syndrome causing painful ophthalmoplegia. Literature on long-term outcome of this rare condition is scarce. Aims and Objectives: The aim is to study the recurrence and role of steroid-sparing agents in THS. Methodology: All cases of THS treated at a tertiary-level teaching hospital during a 10-year period were studied. Clinical and radiological profile, response to treatment and recurrences were noted. Results: A total of 44 cases were studied. The mean age was 49.5 years, Males constituted 23/44 (52%). The first symptom was pain in 90%. Ptosis with ophthalmoplegia was the most common deficit 29/44 (66%). Lesions confined to cavernous sinus 27/44 (61%) was the most frequent magnetic resonance imaging finding. All patients received steroids as the initial treatment and 15/44 (34%) received steroid-sparing agents. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 120 months (Mean 39 months). Two patients had alternative diagnosis of leptomeningeal malignancy and hypertrophic pachymeningitis on follow-up. Recurrences occurred in 18/37 (48.6%). Time for recurrence varied from 8 months to 7 years. (Mean 18 months). No clinical or radiological predictors for recurrence were identified. Patients who received steroid-sparing agents had a significantly lower recurrence 3/15 (20%) versus 14/26 (53.8%) P < 0.034. Conclusions: Around 50% of patients with THS can have recurrence. Steroid-sparing agents appear to prevent recurrence. A prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial may help to evaluate the risk and benefits of steroid-sparing therapy and to identify any possible predictors for recurrence.

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