Autoimmune myastenia gravis with thymoma following the spontaneous remission of stiff-man syndrome

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1990 Apr;11(2):177-80. doi: 10.1007/BF02335562.


A patient who developed generalized autoimmune myasthenia gravis six years after the spontaneous remission of a stiff-man syndrome is described. He also suffered from chronic active hepatitis and had radiological evidence of a thymoma. He did not have diabetes mellitus. Besides anti-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antibodies, anti-nuclear, anti-DNA, anti-mitochondrial and anti-skeletal muscle antibodies were found in his serum, while islet-cell antibodies were absent. Immunocytochemistry studies failed to demonstrate autoantibodies to GABA-ergic nerve terminals, although an aspecific neuronal immunostaining was observed. The clinical and immunological features of this case support the hypothesis of a dysimmune pathogenesis of SMS, also in cases not associated with autoimmunity to GABA-ergic nerve terminals. Furthermore, a relationship between thymoma and the neurological syndromes discussed could be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Rigidity / etiology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / diagnosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis / etiology*
  • Syndrome
  • Thymoma / etiology*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / etiology*