Neurological Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 1753–1760 | Cite as

Thymectomy is a beneficial therapy for patients with non-thymomatous ocular myasthenia gravis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Kai Zhu
  • Jiaoxing Li
  • Xin Huang
  • Wei Xu
  • Weibin Liu
  • Jiaxin Chen
  • Pei Chen
  • Huiyu FengEmail author
Original Article


Ocular myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease, is characterized by extraocular muscle weakness. Myasthenia gravis is closely associated with the functional status of the thymus gland. The efficacy of thymectomy for non-thymomatous ocular myasthenia gravis remains controversial. Here, we present the first systematic review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the outcome of thymectomy in patients with non-thymomatous ocular myasthenia gravis and found that the pooled rate of complete stable remission was 0.5074 with considerable heterogeneity. Furthermore, subgroup analysis showed that the efficacy of thymectomy differed according to geographical location. Furthermore, thymectomy outcomes are better in children than they are in adults. Thymectomy clearly represents an effective treatment for patients with non-thymomatous ocular myasthenia gravis. However, more multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trials are now required to confirm these conclusions.


Ocular Myasthenia gravis Thymectomy Non-thymomatous Meta-analysis 



This work was supported by the Project of Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission (grant number 201605122112149), the Undergraduate teaching reform project of Sun-Yat Sen university (grant number 8000031911105), and Guangdong graduate education innovation program (grant number 2015QTLXXM05).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, the First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Major Neurological DiseaseGuangdongChina

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