Background: There has been little previous study reporting the eye findings and presentation of elderly patients with myasthenia gravis. The purpose of this study was to review the findings and course of myasthenia gravis after the sixth decade of life. Methods: Retrospective observational case series. The authors reviewed the clinical records of 27 patients with onset of myasthenia gravis at age 60 years or more who were seen at a tertiary care academic ophthalmology centre in Houston between January 1992 and March 1999. The diagnosis of myasthenia gravis was based on conventional clinical and laboratory criteria. Results: Twenty patients (74%) were men. Of the 16 patients who underwent testing for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies, 11 (69%) were seropositive. Concurrent thyroid disease was found in seven patients (26%), including five (71%) of the seven women. No patient had thymoma. Sixteen patients (59%) manifested generalized symptoms during follow-up; 12 did so within I year of disease onset. Patients responded well to both anticholinesterase and corticosteroid therapy. At the most recent follow-up visit 18 patients (67%) were clinically improved, and no patient was clinically worse.
- Myasthenia gravis
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