Antibody profile may predict outcome in ocular myasthenia gravis

Giuliana Galassi, Marco Mazzoli, Alessandra Ariatti, Shaniko Kaleci, Franco Valzania, Paolo F. Nichelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An unsolved issue remains whether there are clinical and immunological features to predict in a single patient the risk of conversion from ocular Myasthenia Gravis (OMG) to generalized disease (GMG) as 50–60% of patients may progress within 1–2 years since onset. Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies (AChR Abs) are found in up to 50% of OMG patients; muscle-specific tyrosine kinase antibodies (MuSK-Abs) are present in about 70% of the whole seronegative (SN), who usually develop a severe disease with bulbar involvement. We surveyed a cohort of 175 OMG patients with purely ocular symptoms and we compare the outcome of patients with antibodies to AChR or to MuSK with those seronegative for both Abs (DSN). All patients had purely ocular signs for at least 24 months. Gender, age at onset, time to generalization or to worsening in quantitative ocular QMG scores, electrophysiological results were analyzed. Males were 58.9%, females 41.1%. Patients with late onset of symptoms after 50 years (LOMG) were 78.3%. We assayed anti-MuSK-Abs in 4.7%, anti-AChR Abs in 38.5%; 57.3% were defined DSN. Thirty-seven patients (21.1%) progressed to GMG during the observational time: 23 were females, 62% of the whole group of the generalized subjects, 75% of MuSK-positive OMG converted to GMG versus the 26.2% of AChR positive and 13.7% of DSN. Statistical analysis showed that gender and presence of antibodies either to AChR or to MuSK were independent predictors of worse outcome; the DSN subjects had lower risk of conversion to GMG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurologica Belgica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-AChR antibodies
  • Anti-MuSK antibodies
  • Double seronegative myasthenia
  • Ocular myasthenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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