Document Detail

Thirteen years follow-up after radical transsternal thymectomy for myasthenia gravis. Do short-term results predict long-term outcome?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11932165     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Long-term evaluation of efficacy and quality of life after radical surgical approach for myasthenia gravis (MG). Comparison between short-term follow-up and long-term outcome. METHODS: All patients (n=26, 16 men and 10 women, mean age: 40.7 years) underwent total transsternal thymectomy for MG between 1986 and 1989. Prospective analysis of the patients for short-term follow-up (mean 22.4 months) was published in 1991. The same group of patients was reevaluated in 2001 (range of follow-up 11.4-15.2 years) and assessed according to the classification of Osserman and Oosterhuis. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 13.0 years (range 11.4-15.2 years). Two patients were lost from follow-up and one died 4 years after thymectomy for reasons unrelated to MG (n=23). No early or late postoperative mortality was observed. One sternal osteomyelitis occurred. Late postoperative morbidity included sternal instabilities (n=2), mild residual thoracic pain (n=6), and hypertrophic scars (n=7). Five patients were rehospitalized for aggravating MG and needed plasmapheresis (n=3) and intubation (n=1). Thirteen patients (56.5%) showed objective clinical improvement, including six patients (26.1%) with complete remission. Eleven patients (47.8%) do not take any medication at all. Because some late relapse may occur several years after operation, the rate of improvement decreased slightly, whereas the difference between short and long-term follow-up was not statistically significant (P=0.405). Twenty patients (87%) returned to work, including part-time occupation (n=4). Fourteen patients (61%) are performing sports regularly. CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm that radical, transsternal thymectomy is an effective and safe therapeutic modality for MG. Short-term results seem to deteriorate over time, therefore long-term studies for minimally invasive approaches have to prove equal results before replacing the standard procedure.
T Roth; R Ackermann; R Stein; R Inderbitzi; K Rösler; R A Schmid
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Evaluation Studies; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1010-7940     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur J Cardiothorac Surg     Publication Date:  2002 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-04     Completed Date:  2002-06-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8804069     Medline TA:  Eur J Cardiothorac Surg     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  664-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of General Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital, 3030 Bern, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Antibodies / diagnostic use,  immunology
Follow-Up Studies
Middle Aged
Myasthenia Gravis / epidemiology,  mortality,  surgery*
Postoperative Complications / etiology
Predictive Value of Tests
Quality of Life
Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology
Severity of Illness Index
Sex Factors
Sternum / surgery*
Switzerland / epidemiology
Thymectomy* / methods
Thymus Gland / anatomy & histology,  pathology
Time Factors
Treatment Outcome
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antibodies; 0/Receptors, Cholinergic

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