Patterns of acetylcholine receptor antibody fluctuation in myasthenia gravis

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1981;377:292-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1981.tb33739.x.


Serial acetylcholine receptor antibody (AChR-ab) titers have been followed in 32 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) for an average of 43 months (range 12-81 months). Seventeen patients became asymptomatic or markedly improved during the study, 12 of whom showed AChR-ab decreases of greater than 50% sustained for 12 months. Only three of 15 patients showing no substantial clinical improvement had AChR-ab decreases greater than 50%. Steroids were more often associated with AChR-ab suppression than was thymectomy. The differences in AChR-ab suppressibility among identically treated patients were not predictable by any clinical characteristics studied. The study indicates a strong relationship between clinical course and AChR-ab in the individual patient when sustained improvement over 12 months and AChR-ab decreases greater than 50% are examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / diagnosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis / immunology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology*


  • Antibodies
  • Receptors, Cholinergic