Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1999; 47(3): 170-173
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1013135
Original Thoracic

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Early and Late Results After Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis: a Retrospective Analysis

M. Klein, A. Granetzny, H.-P. Dauben, H. D. Schulte, E. Gams
  • Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heinrich-Heine Universität, Duesseldorf, Germany
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


Background: This study aims to evaluate the early and late outcome of patients treated by surgery for myasthenia gravis and the diagnostic value of the Besinger Score, which is based on a correlation of severity of symptoms with specific antibodies to acetylcholine receptors, in the follow-up investigation after surgical therapy. Methods: Between June 1984 and April 1992 thoracotomy was performed in 51 myasthenia gravis cases at our department. The retrospective analysis considered patients with (n = 13) or without thymoma (n = 38). The Besinger score was used to describe the severity of disease preoperatively and up to 5 years postoperatively. Results: The Besinger score fell continually post surgery. Changes in relative serum concentrations of antibodies were similar to the Besinger score. Five years after thymectomy complete remission was diagnosed in 40% of the patients. The required dosage of pyridostigmine had fallen by two thirds after 5 years. Patients with follicular hyperplasia had significantly higher remission rates than those with thymoma. Conclusions: Surgery for myasthenia gravis is successful. The Besinger score well quantifies the severity of the disease.