Maximal voluntary ventilation in myasthenia gravis

Muscle Nerve. 2003 Jun;27(6):715-9. doi: 10.1002/mus.10378.


Assessment of respiratory muscle weakness is important at all stages of myasthenia gravis. The maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) is an objective dynamic method for measuring the working capacity of respiratory muscles. The clinical value of this method was studied in 24 newly diagnosed patients with myasthenia gravis, classified according to Osserman criteria (grades I, IIa, and IIb). The MVV values were normal in group I, whereas a characteristic "myasthenic pattern" of decremental respiratory volumes was demonstrated during MVV in group IIa and IIb patients, with or without dyspnea. Despite some limitations and lack of specificity, MVV may be a valuable tool in the assessment of respiratory dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis. Muscle Nerve, 27: 715-719, 2003

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Paralysis / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Paralysis / etiology*
  • Respiratory Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Ventilators, Mechanical*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors