Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine - University of Messina, Messina, Italy
| [b] IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo, Messina, Italy
Correspondence to: Prof. Carmelo Rodolico, Department of Neuroscience, via C. Valeria, Messina, Italy.; Tel.: +39 090/2213501; Fax: +39 090/2212789; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder presenting with fluctuating, fatigable muscle weakness. Initial symptoms classically involve ocular and proximal limb muscles. Rarely, MG may onset with unusual features, so it can be misdiagnosed with other neuromuscular diseases. Objective: To describe unusual and atypical presentations of MG in a large cohort of patients, considering and discussing diagnostic difficulties and pitfalls. Methods: We report on 21 out of 508 MG patients, coming to our department in the last 27 years and presenting with atypical or unusual features. The diagnosis was achieved performing a careful clinical examination, a proper neurophysiological assessment, the neostigmine test, the AChR and MuSK antibodies assay and chest CT-scan. Results: Patients with atypical/unusual MG onset were the 4.4% of all MG patients population. We describe seven different clinical categories: asymmetric distal upper limbs weakness, foot drop, isolated triceps brachii weakness and foot drop, post exertional axial weakness with dropped head, acute facial dyplegia, limb-girdle MG and MG with sudden lower limbs weakness and recurrent falls. Conclusions: Atypical and unusual presentations may increase the risk to misdiagnose or delay MG diagnosis. Isolated limb-girdle presentation is the most frequent atypical form in our series.
Keywords: Myasthenia gravis, limb girdle myasthenia, distal myasthenia, foot