Stiff-persons' syndrome associated with thymoma and subsequent myasthenia gravis

Muscle Nerve. 1997 Apr;20(4):493-8. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4598(199704)20:4<493::aid-mus13>;2-#.


We report the first case of stiff-persons' (-man) syndrome in the setting of a histologically proven thymoma. Muscular hyperactivity was abolished under general anesthesia and the symptoms of stiffness resolved after thymectomy and three courses of intravenous immunoglobulins. After thymectomy, the patient developed ocular myasthenia gravis which later resolved spontaneously. We suggest that thymoma be sought for in cases with neuromuscular hyperactivity syndromes. Myasthenia gravis may develop subsequently in these cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / etiology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome / etiology*
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Thymectomy*
  • Thymoma / complications*
  • Thymoma / pathology
  • Thymoma / surgery
  • Thymus Neoplasms / complications*
  • Thymus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thymus Neoplasms / surgery