Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome Treatment & Management

Updated: May 04, 2021
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Medical Care

Corticosteroids are the treatment of choice for Tolosa-Hunt syndrome (THS), usually providing significant pain relief within 24–72 hours of therapy initiation. Ophthalmoparesis usually requires weeks to months for resolution; indeed, ophthalmoparesis may not completely resolve in some cases depending on the degree of inflammation and the aggressiveness of therapy. For refractory cases, azathioprine (Imuran), methotrexate, or radiation therapy [11] has been employed.

Supervise a tapering schedule for the steroids and monitor for steroid-related adverse effects. Because the diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome is often made clinically without histopathologic confirmation, vigilance must be maintained for the possibility of alternative masquerading diagnosis.


Surgical Care

Surgical extirpation is not generally a feasible treatment of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome; the primary value of surgical intervention is a histopathologic diagnosis.



Neuro-ophthalmology evaluation is helpful to confirm the diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome and to exclude other etiologies of presenting symptoms. Consultation with a neurosurgeon may be useful in cases requiring biopsy.