Purpose: The authors sought to examine relationships between CT metrics derived via an automated method and clinical parameters of extraocular muscle changes in thyroid eye disease (TED). Methods: CT images of 204 orbits in the setting of TED were analyzed with an automated segmentation tool developed at the institution. Labels were applied to orbital structures of interest on the study images, which were then registered against a previously established atlas of manually indexed orbits derived from 35 healthy individuals. Point-wise correspondences between study and atlas images were then compared via a fusion algorithm to highlight metrics of interest where TED orbits differed from healthy orbits. Results: Univariate analysis demonstrated several correlations between CT metrics and clinical data. Metrics pertaining to the extraocular muscles - including average diameter, maximum diameter, and muscle volume - were strongly correlated (p < 0.05) with the presence of ocular motility deficits with regards to the superior, inferior, and lateral recti (with exception of superior rectus motility deficits being mildly correlated with muscle volume [p = 0.09]). Motility defects of the medial rectus were strongly correlated with muscle volume, and only weakly correlated with average and maximum muscle diameter. Conclusions: The novel method of automated imaging metrics may provide objective, rapid clinical information which may have utility in prevention and recognition of visual impairments in TED before they reach an advanced or irreversible stage and while they are able to be improved with immunomodulatory treatments.
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