Original Article

Myasthenia gravis as a prognostic marker in patients with thymoma

Bernardo Cacho-Díaz, Karen Salmerón-Moreno, Nydia A. Lorenzana-Mendoza, Julia Texcocano, Oscar Arrieta


Background: Thymoma is the most common mediastinal tumor, representing <1% of all cancers. It is usually associated with paraneoplastic disorders, mainly myasthenia gravis (MG). The aim of the present study was to describe patients with thymoma and the differences between those with MG and those without it.
Methods: A retrospective 10-year database of the patients with thymoma treated at a single cancer referral hospital (National Institute of Cancer, Mexico City), was analyzed.
Results: Sixty-four files from patients with thymoma were analyzed, 18 of them had MG. The symptoms that occurred most frequently in patients with MG were ptosis, diplopia, appendicular weakness, dysphonia and dysphagia. The most frequent Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) stage was IIIb followed by stage I. Almost all the patients with MG had positive Acetylcholine Receptor antibodies (P<0.001), with not specified antibodies in four patients. The median overall survival showed a trend to be higher among the patients with MG, but there were no significant differences.
Conclusions: In patients with thymoma MG manifests with different clinical and autoimmune traits, but not survival differences. A larger multi-centric study should be encouraged to evaluate the prognostic implications of having MG in patients with thymoma.

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