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Clin Neurophysiol. 2006 Jul;117(7):1434-43. Epub 2006 Jun 5.

Neurophysiological and mitochondrial abnormalities in MuSK antibody seropositive myasthenia gravis compared to other immunological subtypes.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital, S-75185 Uppsala, Sweden. anna.rostedt@swipnet.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the electrophysiological and histopathological features of immunological myasthenia gravis (MG) subtypes.

METHODS:

Fifty MG patients underwent clinical examination, MuSK-Ab and AChR-Ab analysis. The majority underwent quantitative and single-fiber electromyography (QEMG, SFEMG), repetitive nerve stimulation and deltoid muscle biopsy. From muscle specimens with histological mitochondrial dysfunction, we amplified mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In specimens with mtDNA deletions, the nuclear gene POLG1 was sequenced.

RESULTS:

Five AChR-Ab seropositive [AChR(+)] and 5 seronegative [AChR(-)] patients were MuSK-Ab seropositive [MuSK(+)]. Five of 7 neurophysiologically examined MuSK(+) patients (71%) had proximal myopathic pattern, compared to 7 of 31 MuSK(-)/AChR(+) patients (23%) (P=0.012). SFEMG was abnormal in all examined MuSK(+) patients. All 7 biopsied MuSK(+) and 32 MuSK(-) patients (89%) had cytochrome c oxidase (COX) negative fibers. Three of five MuSK(+) and 13 of 20 MuSK(-) patients analyzed had multiple mtDNA deletions but no POLG1 mutations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Similar degree of SFEMG abnormalities was present in proximal muscles among MuSK(+) and AChR(+) patients. Proximal myopathy was over-represented in MuSK(+) patients; however, both MuSK(+) and MuSK(-) patients had mild myopathy with frequent mitochondrial abnormalities.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The weakness in MuSK(+) patients is most likely due to disturbed neuromuscular transmission. The frequently encountered mitochondrial dysfunction in MG warrants further study.

PMID:
16737845
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2006.03.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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