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, 9 (12), e114060

Repeated Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody-Concentrations and Association to Clinical Myasthenia Gravis Development


Repeated Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody-Concentrations and Association to Clinical Myasthenia Gravis Development

Anne Taraldsen Heldal et al. PLoS One.


Introduction: We aimed to examine the longitudinal association between Myasthenia Gravis (MG) clinical severity and concentration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-antibodies to evaluate if AChR-antibody variations correlate to disease severity. A positive AChR-antibody test is specific for MG.

Material and methods: All patients from western Norway who had two or more AChR- antibody tests in the period 1983-2013 were identified. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) Clinical Classification was used to grade disease development. Multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to estimate a possible predictive effect for AChR-antibody concentration on MGFA classification result.

Results: In 67 patients two or more AChR-antibody tests with a corresponding MGFA-score were performed, with a total of 309 tests. 56 patients were treated with immunosuppressive drugs and 11 by pyridostigmine only. There was a positive association between concentration of AChR-antibodies and longitudinal MGFA-score for the subgroup with immunosuppressive treatment, but not for those treated with pyridostigmine only. This association between AChR-antibody concentration and MGFA score declined with increasing time since onset (p = 0.005 for the interaction of group×time×concentration).

Conclusions: For MG patients with immunosuppressive treatment, repeated AChR-antibody measurements give information about clinical development, and can therefore be of support in therapeutic decisions.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exist.

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The authors have no support or funding to report.