Plasmapheresis in severe forms of myasthenia gravis

Massimo Morosetti, Carlo Meloni, Cesare Iani, Maria Caramia, Cristina Galderisi, Giuditta Palombo, Massimo Taccone Gallucci, Giorgio Bernardi, Carlo Umberto Casciani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study we introduce a new combination treatment of plasma exchange (PE) and high daily doses of prednisone for severe forms of myasthenia gravis (MG). The clinical efficacy of the combined therapy has been tested in 18 patients suffering from severe forms of MG. The protocol included 5 sessions of PE, performed in a range of 15 days, 1 session every 3 days, with concurrent administration of oral prednisone (1 mg/kg of body weight), starting at the first session of PE and given daily for at least 3 months. At the end of the entire cycle of PE, almost complete recovery (more than 90% of the initial clinical score) was obtained in 8 of 18 patients while an improvement between 60 and 90% of the initial score was achieved in 9 of 18 patients. An early improvement was noted 24 h after the beginning of plasmapheresis in 11 of 18 patients. No recurrence of symptoms was reported after 36 months of follow-up for 17 patients. The administration of steroid therapy was never followed by an early exacerbation of myasthenic symptoms as reported when it is administered in the absence of concomitant PE. According to our results, we can conclude that high doses of oral prednisone therapy in simultaneous association with PE lead to successful control of severe forms of MG, significantly superior to the therapeutic strategies until now adopted and reported in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalArtificial Organs
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myasthenic crisis
  • Plasma exchange
  • Steroids and plasmapheresis
  • Steroids in myasthenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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