Update on juvenile myasthenia gravis

Wendy K.M. Liew, Peter B. Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Juvenile myasthenia gravis is a relatively rare autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. The pathophysiology of juvenile myasthenia gravis is similar to that of adult myasthenia gravis, though there remain important differences regarding presentation and therapeutic options. We review the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and treatment options for juvenile myasthenia gravis. RECENT FINDINGS: Randomized clinical studies of myasthenia gravis have been carried out primarily in adult populations. As juvenile myasthenia gravis is rare, it has been difficult to collect prospective randomized controlled data to evaluate treatment outcomes and efficacy. A recent retrospective series suggests that, as in adult myasthenia gravis, thymectomy is a viable therapeutic option for selected cases of generalized juvenile myasthenia gravis. This is corroborated by the clinical experience of the authors in a referral center with a cohort of patients affected by juvenile myasthenia gravis over a number of years. SUMMARY: Recent studies illustrate that some, but not all, adult research on myasthenia gravis is applicable to children and adolescents with juvenile myasthenia gravis. Adult research can inform pediatric studies, but should not be regarded as a substitute for dedicated research in those populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-700
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • acetylcholine receptor antibodies
  • intravenous immunoglobulin
  • juvenile myasthenia gravis
  • plasmapheresis
  • thymectomy


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