Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, has introduced a novel U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication to treat patients suffering from thyroid eye disease (TED).
SSMC, which operates one of the largest ophthalmology units in the UAE for complex eye conditions, has secured and now provides the medication, which reduces the effects of this debilitating autoimmune disorder. Teprotumumab-trbw, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy, works by blocking the action of certain proteins in the body. As a result, the inflammation subsides, resulting in improvement in vision, pain, redness, swelling, double vision and bulgy eyes.
The patient, who was treated with this novel therapy, came to SSMC suffering from blurry vision and pain in both of his eyes. He experienced constant red and watery eyes, which had a pronounced impact on his vision and quality of life. He was referred to Dr Habibullah Eatamadi, consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon, and Dr. Ohood Almazrouie, oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon at SSMC, who conducted thorough tests and examinations, and confirmed the diagnosis of severe sight-threatening thyroid eye disease.
After discussing different options, the patient agreed to be treated with the only FDA-approved medication to treat thyroid eye disease. As a result of the treatment, the patient made notable progress in his recovery journey and experienced a substantial improvement in his overall well-being and ability to manage his daily functions.
Dr Eatamadi said: “Introducing this much-needed medication to the region presents patients suffering from TED with an effective solution to their condition. By making the treatment available at SSMC, we are contributing to reducing the risk of patients facing irreversible eye damage. Moreover, what makes this medication truly unique is its ability to treat the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms of TED
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), also known as Graves’ orbitopathy or thyroid-associated orbitopathy, is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the muscles and fat behind the eyes. Thyroid eye disease is estimated to affect 155 to 250 people per 100,000 of the overall population worldwide. Symptoms of thyroid eye disease can be mild, moderate or severe and sight threatening. These include irritation, light sensitivity, gritty sensation in the eyes, excessive tearing, swelling of the eyelids, redness and irritation, pressure behind the eyes, double vision, eye bulging (exophthalmos), and in more serious cases the disease can lead to loss of vision. In addition to having a significant impact on patients’ quality of life, the disease changes the eyes’ appearance and is disfiguring.
The clinical management of thyroid eye disease necessitates the involvement of multiple specialists, including ophthalmologists (oculoplastic surgeon), endocrinologists, immunologists, ENT specialists and pharmacists, as well as a dedicated team providing logistical support to patients and doctors.
Marleine Bejjani Moukarzel, director of Pharmacy, added: “SSMC boasts a team of exceptionally skilled clinical pharmacists, who play a pivotal role in the evaluation and implementation of cutting-edge advancements and therapeutic approaches. We are committed to providing pioneering medicines to all patients in the most effective and compassionate way”.
Dr. Matthew Gettman, chief medical officer, at SSMC, remarked the importance of making novel treatments available to patients with autoimmune disorders and said: “Introducing novel treatments that address patients’ needs will always be an absolute priority for SSMC. We remain committed to the provision of exceptional health care and work tirelessly to provide integrated and progressive solutions for patients in the region and beyond.
“Guided by our unique model of care and unshakable shields of practice, education and research, SSMC continues to prioritize the health and well-being of the community through the latest evidence-based advancements in the medical field.”