Neurological Sciences

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 911–917 | Cite as

Clinical features of myasthenia gravis in southern China: a retrospective review of 2,154 cases over 22 years

  • X. Huang
  • W. B. Liu
  • L. N. Men
  • H. Y. Feng
  • Y. Li
  • C. M. Luo
  • L. Qiu
Original Article


The objectives of the study are to study the clinical features of myasthenia gravis in southern China. A retrospective study was carried out on all patients who were diagnosed with myasthenia gravis at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University during 1987–2009. Of the 2,154 myasthenia gravis patients, the gender ratio (male:female) was 1:1.15. The median age at onset was 18 years. There was a single peak distribution of age at onset, and 44.8  % were children (≤14 years) at first onset. 1,766 patients (82.0 %) only had ocular symptoms at onset. 1,451 patients (67.4 %) were classified as Osserman grade I. 250 unselected patients received anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies test, in which only 51.2 % were positive. Computed tomography scan/magnetic resonance Imaging of chest were done in 1,354 patients, of which 899 patients (66.4 %) had thymic hyperplasia and 201(14.8 %) had thymoma. There were 150 patients (7.0 %) with myasthenia gravis combined with other autoimmune diseases, in which hyperthyroidism was most common (84 %). 189 (8.8 %) patients experienced 267 episodes of crisis. The rate of family myasthenia gravis was 1.6 % (35/2,154). In conclusion, the clinical features and demography of myasthenia gravis patients in this study are significantly different from prior studies on other regions and ethnic groups.


Clinical features Myasthenia gravis Autoimmune disease Family myasthenia gravis 



Myasthenia gravis


Anti-acetylcholine receptor


Muscle-specific kinase




Repetitive nerve stimulation


Single-fiber electromyography


Compound muscle action potential


Computed tomography


Magnetic resonance imaging



The study has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30870850, 81071002), and the Clinical study of 5010 plan of Sun Yat-sen University (2010003). The work is attributed to the Department of Neurology, Affiliated first Hospital, Sun Yat-sen Uni., Guangzhou 510080, China.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. Huang
    • 1
  • W. B. Liu
    • 1
  • L. N. Men
    • 1
  • H. Y. Feng
    • 1
  • Y. Li
    • 1
  • C. M. Luo
    • 1
  • L. Qiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen UniGuangzhouChina

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