Early and late results after thymectomy in myasthenia gravis: a retrospective study [correction of analysis]

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1999 Jun;47(3):170-3. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1013135.


Background: This study aims to evaluate the early and late outcome of patients treated by surgery for myasthenia gravis and the diagnostic value of the Besinger Score, which is based on a correlation of severity of symptoms with specific antibodies to acetylcholine receptors, in the follow-up investigation after surgical therapy.

Methods: Between June 1984 and April 1992 thoracotomy was performed in 51 myasthenia gravis cases at our department. The retrospective analysis considered patients with (n = 13) or without thymoma (n = 38). The Besinger score was used to describe the severity of disease preoperatively and up to 5 years postoperatively.

Results: The Besinger score fell continually post surgery. Changes in relative serum concentrations of antibodies were similar to the Besinger score. Five years after thymectomy complete remission was diagnosed in 40% of the patients. The required dosage of pyridostigmine had fallen by two thirds after 5 years. Patients with follicular hyperplasia had significantly higher remission rates than those with thymoma.

Conclusions: Surgery for myasthenia gravis is successful. The Besinger score well quantifies the severity of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / diagnosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis / surgery*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide / administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thymectomy*
  • Thymoma / pathology
  • Thymus Hyperplasia / diagnosis
  • Thymus Hyperplasia / surgery
  • Thymus Neoplasms / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Pyridostigmine Bromide