Treatment of antenatal myasthenia gravis

Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Sep;78(3 Pt 2):485-9.


Maternal myasthenia gravis has been associated with the presence of neonatal myasthenia and sometimes fatal congenital anomalies. As a result, antenatal therapy directed at fetal sequelae may be indicated. We present the case of a pregnant myasthenic woman whose two previous pregnancies had ended in neonatal deaths from fetal deformations that were presumably due to maternal myasthenia. Serial plasmaphereses and oral prednisone therapy were used in an attempt to depress maternal anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody titers. As anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody titers fell, fetal breathing movements became apparent by ultrasound, and as these titers rose, no fetal breathing movements were apparent. Our patient delivered an infant with transient neonatal myasthenia but normal pulmonary development and no deformations. We suggest that the therapy given may have improved the outcome of this pregnancy compared with her two previous pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Myasthenia Gravis / immunology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / prevention & control
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy*
  • Plasmapheresis*
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Prednisone