Serological diagnosis of myasthenia gravis and its clinical significance

Ann Transl Med. 2023 Apr 15;11(7):290. doi: 10.21037/atm-19-363. Epub 2019 Sep 29.


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common immune-mediated disorder of the neuromuscular junction. Anti-acetylcholine receptor (anti-AChR), anti-muscle-specific kinase (anti-MuSK), and anti-lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (anti-LRP4) antibodies are the three well-defined pathogenic antibodies. Patients with MG can also have other antibodies, such as anti-titin, anti-ryanodine receptor (anti-RyR), anti-Agrin and anti-KV1.4 antibodies. Since MG is heterogeneous in terms of pathophysiology, antibody status, and other factors, serological tests are crucial for clinical diagnosis confirmation and treatment choice. Herein, we review the different methods for detection of various antibodies involved in MG and their sensitivity and specificity. The understanding of these elements should be useful for improving the diagnosis and determining how to adapt the existing therapies to the requirements of each patient.

Keywords: Myasthenia gravis (MG); antibodies; cell-based assay (CBA); enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA).

Publication types

  • Review