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Long-Term Outcome and Factors Influencing the Outcome of Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis

1172

Rawiphan Witoonpanich MD, FRCP*,
Charungthai Dejthevaporn MD*, Theerayuth Srisinroongruang MD*,
Wises Subhannachart MD**, Sukasom Attanavanich MD**,
Somboon Boonkasem MD**, Ammarin Thakkinstian M Med Stats***

* Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
** Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
*** Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University

Abstract


Thymectomy has gained widespread acceptance as a treatment for patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). Patients with myasthenia gravis who had undergone thymectomy by extended transsternal approach between 1981 and 1987 were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the result of thymectomy, time to remission, time to maximum improvement and factors influencing remission after thymectomy. There were 128 patients, 45 men and 83 women and the mean ages at the time of thymectomy were 35.7 and 32.2 years respectively. After thymectomy, 41.2% of the patients were in remission, 53% improved and 5.8% had no response. The remission rates at 1, 2, 5 and 10 years after thymectomy were 9%, 17%, 37% and 53% respectively and the median time to remission was 9 years. The maximum improvement rates at 1, 2, 5 and 10 years after thymectomy were estimated to be 30%, 40%, 57% and 78% respectively and the median time to maximum improvement was 3.6 years. Patients with ocular MG, longer duration of symptoms before thymectomy and atrophic thymus gland appeared to take longer to achieve remission although none of the factors was significantly associated with the time to remission. Thymectomy is beneficial for MG patients with satisfactory remission and improvement rates. It is recommended that thymectomy should be advocated for these patients early in the course of the disease because the duration of the symptoms appeared to be the main determinant of the outcome.

Keyword : Myasthenia gravis, Thymectomy, Outcome, Remission, Improvement



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