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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-104

Thymectomy in myasthenia gravis: A narrative review

Department of Neurology, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Danah Aljaafari
Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahaman Bin Faisal University, 2835, King Faisal Road, Dammam 34212
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_80_22

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Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare condition caused by autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptors on postsynaptic membrane that leads to weakness of skeletal muscles. About 7 of 10 patients with MG have thymic hyperplasia and about 1 of 10 patients have thymoma. Thymectomy has increasingly been used as a treatment modality for MG. Several observational studies have shown that thymectomy results in improvement in MG and a randomized trial has established that thymectomy leads to a better outcome in non-thymomatous generalized MG. However, thymectomy is yet controversial in some disease subtypes and there are potential concerns regarding the selection of the ideal surgical approach to achieve complete removal of the thymic tissue to achieve stable remission rates. This review highlights the role of thymectomy in non-thymomatous and thymomatous MG, the effectiveness of various thymectomy methods, postoperative myasthenic crisis, and remission after thymectomy.

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