Myasthenia gravis: MuSK MG, late-onset MG and ocular MG

Feza Deymeer

Department of Neurology, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction which affects all striated muscles, resulting in fluctuating weakness. Approaching MG as a disease with subgroups having different clinical, serological and genetic features is crucial in predicting the progression and planning treatment. Three relatively less frequently seen subtypes of MG are the subject of this review: MG with anti-MuSK antibodies (MuSK MG), late-onset MG (LOMG), and ocular MG (OMG). In addition to reviewing the literature, mainly from a clinical point of view, our experience in each of the subgroups, based on close to 600 patients seen over a 10 year period, is related. MuSK MG is a severe disease with predominant bulbar involvement. It is more common in women and in early-onset patients. With the use of high dose corticosteroids, azathioprine and more recently rituximab, outcome is favorable, though the patients usually require higher maintenance doses of immunosuppressives. LOMG with onset ≥ 50 years of age is more common in men and ocular onset is common. Frequency of anti-AChR and anti-titin antibodies are high. Although it can be severe in some patients, response to treatment is usually very good. OMG is reported to be more frequent in men in whom the disease has a later onset. Anti-AChR antibodies are present in about half of the patients. Generalization is less likely when symptoms remain confined to ocular muscles for 2 years. Low dose corticosteroids are usually sufficient. Thyroid disease is the most common autoimmune disease accompanying all three subgroups. 

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