Center for Advanced Practice


Thoracoscopic thymectomy for juvenile myasthenia gravis.

Publication Title

Pediatric surgery international

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PubMed ID



PURPOSE: A randomized controlled trial of thymectomy in myasthenia gravis demonstrated improved clinical outcomes in adults, but data surrounding juvenile cases, especially those treated with minimally invasive approaches, are limited. Here, we review our experience with thoracoscopic thymectomy for juvenile myasthenia gravis (JMG) in the largest cohort to date.

METHODS: All cases of thymectomy for JMG in a single tertiary referral center between 2007 and 2018 were reviewed (N = 50). Patients underwent left thoracoscopic approach with extended dissection and without use of monopolar energy. Demographics, diagnostic criteria, and clinical classification, as well as surgical data were collected. Clinical status and medications were reviewed in follow-up.

RESULTS: The mean age at surgery was 10.5 ± 0.8 years. Ocular disease and generalized disease each comprised half of the cohort. No patients suffered complications or increased risk of morbidity or mortality with thymectomy. At any interval of follow-up through 3.5 years, 49.8% of patients were improved compared to their pre-operative presentation, and there was a significant trend towards decreased steroid use.

CONCLUSION: Thoracoscopic thymectomy is a safe treatment for juvenile myasthenia gravis in pediatric patients over a wide range of ages, body masses, and symptoms. Our experience adds evidence that pediatric patients likely benefit from thymectomy with improved clinical status and reduced medications.


Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Length of Stay, Male, Myasthenia Gravis, Retrospective Studies, Tertiary Care Centers, Thoracoscopy, Thymectomy, Treatment Outcome



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