Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by the production of abnormal autoantibodies directed against the receptors present in the neuromuscular junction. It has been the standard practice to offer thymectomy in all generalized myasthenia gravis patients despite the lack of robust evidence.
The objectives of this study are to describe the clinical profile and differentiate the clinical outcomes of thymectomy versus non-thymectomy and thymomatous versus non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis patients in the Philippine General Hospital.
Between 2009 and 2014, a total of 69 postthymectomy and 16 non-thymectomy patient records were successfully retrieved. The demographic characteristics, surgical approach, and histopathologic results were obtained. The clinical outcome after 6 months or 1 year-follow-up was also determined and grouped according to the following: (1) complete remission, (2) pharmacological remission, (3) no clinical change, (4) worsening symptoms, and (5) mortality.
Majority of the patients were females (68.0%) with a mean age of 39.8 years and a mean duration of myasthenic symptoms of 21 months. Using the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America classification, 54.1% of patients fell under Class II and 48.2% of them presented with generalized weakness. In this study, 60.8% of postthymectomy myasthenia gravis patients had either complete remission or pharmacologic remission compared with 12.5% among non-thymectomy patients ( p-value <0.001). No significant difference in the clinical outcome was found between thymomatous and non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis after thymectomy ( p-value = 0.29).