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This section deals with the clinical condition mysthenia, listing the relevant immunological tests, together with a short explanation of their use.

Relevant immunological tests:

Impaired neurotransmission in MG is caused by the presence of antibodies to acetylcholine receptor. Associated autoantibodies to skeletal muscle and thyroid microsomes are sometimes also detected.

Although antibodies to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) are present in all patients with Myasthenia Gravis, they are detectable in only 90% of sera tested in the laboratory.

They are particularly difficult to detect in patients with ocular myasthenia, where up to 40% of patients have undetected antibodies.

Antibodies to striated muscle are present in 30% of patients with MG - and 60% of these will also have a thymoma. This test is insufficiently reliable to help in management and is no longer performed.


(Last updated October 9th 2014)