EFNS/ENS Guidelines for the treatment of ocular myasthenia

Eur J Neurol. 2014 May;21(5):687-93. doi: 10.1111/ene.12359. Epub 2014 Jan 28.


Background and purpose: The symptoms of acquired autoimmune ocular myasthenia are restricted to the extrinsic eye muscles, causing double vision and drooping eyelids. These guidelines are designed to provide advice about best clinical practice based on the current state of clinical and scientific knowledge and the consensus of an expert panel.

Search strategy: Evidence for these guidelines was collected by searches in the MEDLINE and Cochrane databases. The task force working group reviewed evidence from original articles and systematic reviews. The evidence was classified (I, II, III, IV) and consensus recommendation graded (A, B or C) according to the EFNS guidance. Where there was a lack of evidence but clear consensus, good practice points are provided.

Conclusions: The treatment of ocular myasthenia should initially be started with pyridostigmine (good practice point). If this is not successful in relieving symptoms, oral corticosteroids should be used on an alternate-day regimen (recommendation level C). If steroid treatment does not result in good control of the symptoms or if it is necessary to use high steroid doses, steroid-sparing treatment with azathioprine should be started (recommendation level C). If ocular myasthenia gravis is associated with thymoma, thymectomy is indicated. Otherwise, the role of thymectomy in ocular myasthenia is controversial. Steroids and thymectomy may modify the course of ocular myasthenia and prevent myasthenia gravis generalization (good practice point).

Keywords: myasthenia gravis; ocular myasthenia; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Myasthenia Gravis / drug therapy*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / surgery
  • Thymectomy / methods
  • Thymectomy / standards


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Immunologic Factors