Respiratory failure due to vocal cord paresis in myasthenia gravis

Respiration. 2002;69(3):280-2. doi: 10.1159/000063636.


This report describes a female patient with myasthenia gravis who developed respiratory failure due to vocal cord paresis. The diagnosis was delayed due to the absence of other myasthenic symptoms (e.g. ptosis, muscle weakness and dysphagia). On direct laryngoscopy, her vocal cords were seen to be in the paramedian position and to move apart after the intravenous injection of edrophonium. The patient initially presented with ocular myasthenia and later returned with isolated respiratory failure. A review of the pertinent literature revealed few reports on myasthenia gravis presenting in this manner.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy
  • Respiratory Sounds / etiology
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / complications*