Article Abstract

Myasthenia gravis

Authors: Sayena Jabbehdari, Karl C. Golnik


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune antibody-mediated disorder which causes fluctuating weakness in ocular, bulbar and limb skeletal muscles. There are two major clinical types of MG. Ocular MG (OMG) affects extra ocular muscles associated with eye movement and eyelid function and generalized MG results in muscle weakness throughout the body. Patients with OMG have painless fluctuating extra ocular muscles weakness, diplopia and ptosis accompanied by normal visual acuity and pupillary function. Frequently, patients with OMG develop generalized MG over 24 months. Pure OMG is more often earlier in onset (<45 years) than generalized MG. It can also occur as part of an immune-genetic disorder or paraneoplastic syndrome related to thymus tumors. Diagnosis is based on clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, electrophysiological evaluation and pharmacologic tests. Therapeutic strategies for MG consist of symptom relieving medications (e.g., acetylcholine esterase inhibitors), immunosuppressive agents, and surgical intervention (e.g., thymectomy).