Immunoglobulin treatment versus plasma exchange in patients with chronic moderate to severe myasthenia gravis.

Artif Organs. 2001 Dec;25(12):967-73.
Ronager J, Ravnborg M, Hermansen I, Vorstrup S.

Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Center, National University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment with plasma exchange in patients suffering from moderate to severe myasthenia gravis (MG) in a stable phase. There are no controlled studies comparing IVIG with plasma exchange in patients who despite immunosuppressive treatment have persistent incapacitating MG symptoms. This was a controlled crossover study. Twelve patients with generalized moderate to severe MG on immunosuppressive treatment for at least 12 months were included. The patients were evaluated clinically using a quantified MG clinical score (QMGS) before and at follow-up visits after each treatment. One week after the treatments, the patients who received plasma exchange treatment showed a significant improvement in QMGS compared to baseline but although some improvement was seen after IVIG this did not reach statistical significance. Four weeks after both plasma exchange and IVIG treatments, there was a significant improvement in QMGS compared to baseline. One week and 4 weeks after treatment, no significant difference between the 2 treatments was found. Both treatments have a clinically significant effect 4 weeks out in patients with chronic MG, but the improvement has a more rapid onset after plasma exchange than after IVIG.

Publication Types:
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

PMID: 11843764 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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