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Eur J Surg. 1997 Dec;163(12):897-902.

Benefits of early thymectomy in patients with myasthenia gravis.

Author information

1
First Department of Surgery, University of Athens, Laikon General Hospital, Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To report our experience of early thymectomy in patients with myasthenia gravis.

DESIGN:

Retrospective study.

SETTING:

University department of surgery, Greece.

SUBJECTS:

76 Patients with myasthenia gravis.

INTERVENTIONS:

Transcervical thymectomy in all cases, additional left thoracotomy in four cases.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mortality, morbidity, and early (6 months) and late (mean follow-up 4.8 years) response to thymectomy.

RESULTS:

20 Patients had thymomas (26%). There was no postoperative mortality; morbidity was 11% (n = 8). There was complete remission in 19 (25%), improvement in 49 (65%) no change in 7 (9%), and impairment in 1 (1%) of the patients at 6 months. Patients who had had symptoms for less than 5 years (p < 0.001), were in an earlier stage of disease (p = 0.006), and who did not have thymomas (p = 0.006) responded better. 3 Patients died of invasive thymoma at 2 1/2, 3, and 5 1/2 years postoperatively and 25/76 (33%) were lost to follow-up. Of the 51 patients available for late follow-up, 19 (37%) were in remission, in 26 (51%) the symptoms had improved, 3 (6%) were unchanged, and 3 (6%) had died of the disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Transcervical thymectomy should be considered in patients with early myasthenia gravis.

PMID:
9449441
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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