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Neurol India. 2017 May-Jun;65(3):518-524. doi: 10.4103/neuroindia.NI_804_16.

Analysis of mortality and related factors in 2195 adult myasthenia gravis patients in a 10-year follow-up study.

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Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.



To analyze the mortality and potential risk factors for death in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients.


A total of 2195 adult patients with MG (aged older than 18 years) diagnosed during the period between 2003 and 2013 were followed-up and retrospectively reviewed.


During the 10-year follow-up, 129 patients died and the total mortality rate was 5.88%. The risk factors associated with MG-related deaths were duration of the disease, occurrence of myasthenic crisis, severity of disease that included the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) grade III and IV at onset, elevation of acetylcholine receptor antibody (AchR-abs) titers, presence of thymic pathology, and failure of administrating immunosuppressants (P < 0.05). In addition, the non-MG related factors, including the history of preceding strokes, and the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, and malignant tumors, were closely linked with death in the MG population (the hazard ratios [HRs] were 3.251, 4.173, 3.738, 3.886, 1.945, 2.177, and 14.7, respectively; P< 0.05).


The severity of disease at entry, presence of AchRabs, thymic pathology, and duration of the disease predict a higher risk for death. Systemic illnesses including stroke, COPD, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, and malignant tumor, which may also increase the risk of death, should be carefully monitored and managed.

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