Clinical and Pathologic Predictors of Outcome in Thymoma-Associated Myasthenia Gravis

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Background. Myasthenia gravis is by far the most common paraneoplastic syndrome of thymomas. There is little information regarding the influence of clinical variables and thymoma-associated factors on biologic development of myasthenia gravis. The aim of the study was to determine independent predictors of clinical outcome in thymoma with myasthenia gravis. Methods. We studied 108 patients with thymomaassociated myasthenia gravis undergoing removal of the mediastinal mass between 1967 and 2000. Clinical and pathologic variables associated with clinical outcome of myasthenia were assessed by multivariate Cox regression analysis. Results. Patients were followed for a mean period of 10 years (9 months to 33 years). A total of 38 patients died (35.2%), in 14 cases (37%) because of myasthenia gravis and in 6 (16%) because of recurrence of thymoma. With respect to clinical outcome of myasthenia gravis, at the end of the follow-up period, the rate of remission was 16% (n = 17). Of the 91 patients in whom remission was not achieved, 55 had no symptoms with immunosuppressive medication and 36 had symptoms with medication. Conclusions. In patients with thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis, well-differentiated thymic carcinoma (Müller-Hermelink system), age more than 55 years, and interval from the onset of symptoms to thymectomy of less than 1 year were found to be independent predictors of nonremission of myasthenia gravis after thymectomy. © 2003 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1649
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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