Predictors of outcome for myasthenia gravis after thymectomy

Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2003 Dec;11(4):323-7. doi: 10.1177/021849230301100411.


The aim of this study was to assess the clinical outcome of patients with myasthenia gravis treated with maximal thymectomy and to identify prognostic variables that predict the outcome. Over 15 years, from 1986 to 2001, we collected data on 100 patients with myasthenia gravis who underwent maximal thymectomy and retrospectively reviewed their outcome. Women comprised 63% and the median age was 25 years (range, 4 to 61). The median duration of the disease was 26 months (range, 1 to 240). According to the Osserman classification, there were seven patients in class I, 31 in class II, 47 in class III, and 15 in class IV. In non thymomatous patients (93 patients), complete remission rate progressively increased from 37.4% to 58.2% and 75% at 3, 10 and 15 years of follow-up respectively. These findings suggest that the complete remission rate is prone to increase with time after maximal thymectomy. The total benefit rate achieved was estimated to be 86% while 14% did not improve at a mean follow-up period of 7.6 years (range, 8 to 180 months). Univariate analysis (p < 0.05) showed that age, thymic histology and ectopic thymic tissue are significant prognostic factors for outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / surgery*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thymectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome