Content » Vol 40, Issue 8

Case report

Myasthenia gravis with superimposed spinal cord injury: a case report

Che-Sheng Lin, Juei-Hsiang Wang, Yen-Ho Wang, Shin-Liang Pan
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0222

Abstract

Both myasthenia gravis and traumatic spinal cord injury are uncommon disorders and their concurrence is extremely rare. We report here the case of a man with stable myasthenia gravis with spinal cord injury due to a motor vehicle accident. His muscle strength and sensory function in all 4 limbs partially recovered during the initial hospitalization. However, after a later episode of pneumonia and urinary tract infection, muscle strength deteriorated and weakness of the ocular muscles occurred. A relapse of myasthenia gravis was confirmed by the elevated anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody titre. Muscle strength recovered rapidly after control of infection and treatment of myasthenia gravis exacerbation. In this case report, we show that spinal cord injury-related complications, including infection or emotional stress, could trigger a relapse of myasthenia gravis. This highlights the importance of recognizing an exacerbation of myasthenia gravis in spinal cord injury patients with a history of myasthenia gravis, since they are prone to urinary and pulmonary infection. Although exacerbation of myasthenia gravis might prolong hospitalization, the functional outcome of spinal cord injury might not be affected if the exacerbation is diagnosed and treated quickly.

Lay Abstract

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