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Endocrinology
Ophthalmology
Thyroid Eye Disease

How does thyroid eye disease impact buccal fat pad volume?

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Thyroid eye disease (TED) does not appear to be associated with a significant difference in buccal fat pad (BFP) volume, potentially indicating that TED-related soft-tissue expansion does not affect BFP, according to a study.

In this cohort study, 72 computed tomography (CT) scans of patients with TED (n = 24) and controls (n = 48) were analyzed by 3 independent, blinded observers for the primary outcome of BFP volume. Sample size was determined using an effect size based on published reports of the minimum amount of fat excision needed to notice a clinical difference.

The sample in this study detected a difference as large as 1.5cc with 95% power. There was no statistical difference between TED patients and controls in mean BFP volume. The study used analysis of covariance to adjust for patient factors and found no significant difference between groups. Equivalence testing was significant and showed that the observed difference between groups was less than any clinically meaningful difference. The data suggests a 5% risk of a false negative for an effect size of 1.5cc.

Reference
Osias E, Cale M, Saffari P, et al. Clinical and demographic predictors of buccal fat pad volume in thyroid eye disease. Orbit. 2023;doi: 10.1080/01676830.2023.2192787. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36974465.

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