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No To Hattatsu. 2009 Jan;41(1):37-42.

[Treatment approach to congenital myasthenic syndrome in a patient with acetylcholine receptor deficiency].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Tokyo Women's Medical University, School of Medicine, Tokyo.


Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are rare heterogeneous disorders of neurotransmission caused by genetic defects of neuromuscular junction molecules. While CMS patients have been reported worldwide, in Japan there have been only a few descriptions of adult CMS patients with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) deficiency and slow channel syndrome. Herein, we report a Japanese CMS patient with acetylcholine receptor (AChR) deficiency, diagnosed during childhood, and our treatment approach to the patient. This 13-year-old Japanese boy had had severe myasthenic symptoms since infancy. Ptosis, his first symptom, appeared at 5 months and nasal voice was recognized at 2 years of age. AchR and anti-muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (Musk) antibody remained negative. A positive tensilon test and decremental response on electromyogram supported the diagnosis of sero-negative myasthenia gravis. Despite thymectomy and strong immunosuppressive therapy including steroid pulse and FK 506, he gradually deteriorated and became wheelchair bound. Genetic analyses for AchR, Rapsyn, Musk and AChE were negative. At age 11 years, a muscle biopsy was performed in the deltoid muscle for neuromuscular junction sampling. Electron microscopic and confocal microscopic analysis of endplates showed almost complete loss of AChR and the diagnosis of CMS with AChR deficiency was confirmed. All immunosuppressive therapies were discontinued. Instead, we started Ubretide and 3,4-diaminopyridine (DAP) after obtaining informed consent. Although not approved in Japan for this use, 3,4-DAP is reportedly effective in refractory cases of CMS. The patient experienced no side effects. Despite all of the objective data were improving, his subjective symptoms and ADL remained poor. There are still many challenges in the treatment of the patient.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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