Thymectomy in black children with juvenile myasthenia gravis.
Lakhoo K., Fonseca JD., Rodda J., Davies MRQ.
Fifteen black children with juvenile myasthenia gravis presented to our institution over a 10-year period at ages ranging from 18 months to 7 years, 4 males and 11 females. Twelve presented with progressive, generalised weakness and 3 had bulbar manifestations. Ocular signs were absent in 2 patients. All 15 patients were placed on pyridostigmine bromide (Mestinon) and 1 also required steroids and plasmapheresis. Medical therapy only was instituted in 5 patients, of whom 2 came to surgery, 2 died, and 1 was lost to follow-up. Thymectomy was performed in 12 children (including the 2 with failed medical therapy) via a median sternotomy with no mortality or morbidity related to the operation. The timing of surgery was less than 3 months in 75% of the children. Thymic hyperplasia was noted in 10 glands and 2 were reported as normal. Of the children in the operative group, 83% are on minimal medication or in total remission. Better results were noted in young patients with early thymectomy and diseased glands.