Show Summary Details
Page of

An 80-Year-Old Myasthenia Gravis Patient with Worsening Weakness 

An 80-Year-Old Myasthenia Gravis Patient with Worsening Weakness
An 80-Year-Old Myasthenia Gravis Patient with Worsening Weakness

Jeffrey A. Cohen

, Justin J. Mowchun

, Victoria H. Lawson

, and Nathaniel M. Robbins

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 June 2021

In myasthenia gravis, weakness and respiratory insufficiency can occur quickly. It is important for the treating physician to recognize this and institute treatment rapidly. Increasing weakness of the neck may herald impending respiratory insufficiency. The single breath count is an easy way ti assess ventilatory function. Because of bulbar weakness and increasing secretions usually bi-level positive pressure airway pressure is used with extreme caution. Intubation with effective management if the airway is preferred. Differentiation of myasthenic crisis from cholinergic crisis is explained; although cholinergic crisis is relatively uncommon. Treatment modalities can include intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange, and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids should be used with caution since they may exacerbate myasthenic symptoms. Treatment with a steroid sparing agent is discussed. A table is presented which lists signs and symptoms that can suggest the need for intubation.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.