OBJECTIVES: Thymectomy plays an important role in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). This study aimed to explore predictors of postoperative myasthenic crisis (POMC) after thymectomy and to define a predictive score of respiratory failure. METHODS: The clinical data of 177 patients with MG undergoing thymectomy from January 1995 to December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. The following factors were analysed in relation to the occurrence of myasthenic crisis: gender, age, body mass index (BMI), anti-acetylcholine receptor-antibody level, bulbar symptoms, comorbidities, duration of symptoms, Osserman-stage, Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) stage, history of myasthenic crisis, use of immoglobulins or plasmapheresis, kind of therapy, spirometric and blood gas parameters, histology, kind of surgery, non-myasthenic complications and duration of intubation. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients experienced postoperative respiratory failure after thymectomy. Univariate analysis revealed a correlation with age >60 years (odds ratio (OR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-6.78; P = 0.040); Osserman-stage (IIB- OR = 5.16, 95% CI = 1.10-24.18; P = 0.037, III-IV- OR = 8.75, 95% CI = 1.53-50.05; P = 0.015); bulbar symptoms (OR = 7.42, 95% CI = 1.67-32.84; P = 0.008); BMI >28 (OR = 3.99, 95% CI = 1.58-10.03; P = 0.003); preoperative plasmapheresis (OR = 2.97, 95% CI = 1.18-14.04; P = 0.021); duration of symptoms >2 years (OR = 4.00, 95% CI = 1.09-14.762; P = 0.036); extended surgery (OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.02-6.22; P = 0.045); lung (OR = 4.05, 95% CI = 1.44-11.42; P = 0.008), pericardial (OR = 3.78, 95% CI = 1.45-9.82; P = 0.006) or pleural resection (OR = 3.23, 95% CI = 1.30-8.03; P = 0.012); Vital Capacity % 2 >40 mmHg (OR = 3.76, 95% CI = 1.12-12.68; P = 0.032). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that Osserman-stage (IIB- OR = 5.69, 95% CI = 1.09-29.69; P = 0.039 (III-IV- OR = 11.33, 95% CI = 1.67-76.72; P = 0.013), BMI >28 (OR = 3.65, 95% CI = 1.10-12.15; P = 0.035), history of myasthenic crisis (OR = 24.10, 95% CI = 2.34-248.04; P = 0.007), duration of symptoms >2 years (OR = 5.94, 95% CI = 1.12-31.48; P = 0.036) and lung resection (OR = 8.48, 95% CI = 2.18-32.97; P = 0.002) independently predict POMC. Excluding history of preoperative myasthenic crisis (statistically associated with Osserman-stage), we built a scoring system according to the OR of Osserman-stage (I-IIA, IIB, III-IV), BMI (2 years) and association with a pulmonary resection. This model helped in creating four classes with increasing risk of respiratory failure (Group I, 6%; Group II, 10%; Group III, 25%; Group IV, 50%). CONCLUSIONS: Our model facilitates the stratification of patient risk and prediction of the occurrence of POMC. Moreover, it could help to guide the anaesthesiologist's decision on the duration of intubation. Further studies based on larger series are needed to confirm these preliminary data.
- Myasthenia gravis
- Myasthenic crisis
- Scoring system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine