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Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis

By R J Moorehead, R A J Spence, P Maginn, V H Patterson, J R P Gibbons and H M Stevenson

Abstract

The results of 14 years' experience in the surgical treatment of myasthenia gravis are reported. Twenty-one patients (14 female, 7 male) underwent thymectomy for myasthenia gravis between 1971 and 1984. The mean age of the patients was 33 years (range 14 - 57 years). The median duration of symptoms prior to surgery was 18 months (range 5 months to 35 years). The mean follow-up was 5.3 years. There were no post-operative deaths: 76% obtained benefit from thymectomy. The patients' age, sex, duration of symptoms and histology of the thymus gland did not correlate with the result of treatment. This series suggests that, while thymectomy is often beneficial in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, there are no accurate predictors of the outcome following surgery

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