Myasthenia Gravis Induced by Nivolumab: A Case Report

Cureus. 2017 Sep 20;9(9):e1702. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1702.


Nivolumab is a programmed cell death receptor (PD-1) inhibitor therapy for aggressive cancers; however, it poses a risk of immune-related adverse side effects. We present a 73-year-old male with renal cell carcinoma who developed myasthenia gravis (MG) after being treated with nivolumab, proven by acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Our patient presented with symptoms of fatigue and upper and lower extremity weakness, eventually resulting in respiratory failure as a result of MG. Nivolumab is an emerging therapy for advanced cancers but poses severe immune-related adverse events. Clinicians using PD-1 inhibitors should have a high index of suspicion of autoimmune diseases so that early discontinuation and treatment can be established to limit long-term morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: immunotherapy; ipilimumab; metastatic melanoma; monoclonal antibody; myasthenia gravis; nivolumab; pd-1; pd-1 inhibitor; renal cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports