Myasthenic crisis

QJM. 2009 Feb;102(2):97-107. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcn152. Epub 2008 Dec 5.


Myasthenic crisis is a life-threatening medical emergency requiring early diagnosis and respiratory assistance. It can affect between one-fifth and one-third of all patients with generalized autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Myasthenic crisis is to be distinguished from other causes of acute neuromuscular paralysis which in most cases, can be achieved clinically. High dose corticosteroids in combination with plasma exchange or immunoglobulin are the cornerstone of treatment for this fully reversible cause of neuromuscular paralysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / diagnosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy
  • Plasma Exchange*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Thymus Neoplasms / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones