The laboratory diagnosis of mild myasthenia gravis

J. J. Kelly, J. R. Daube, Vanda A Lennon, F. M. Howard, B. R. Younge

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We report our experience with single-fiber electromyography (SF-EMG), acetylcholine receptor antibody assays, and Lancaster Red-Green tests of ocular motility with edrophonium chloride in the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis (MG). Over a period of almost 3 years, 43 patients in whom repetitive-stimulation nerve conduction tests were nondiagnostic had SF-EMG studies; 34 (79%) were positive. Examination of more proximal muscles yielded a higher likelihood of positive results. Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies were detected in 25 (71%) of 35 patients whose sera were assayed, and Lancaster Red-Green tests of ocular motility were positive in 13 (81%) of 16 patients studied. No single test was superior in diagnosing MG, but the three were complementary. If the patients with mild MG are tested by all three methods, at least 95% should have laboratory confirmation of MG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Kelly, J. J., Daube, J. R., Lennon, V. A., Howard, F. M., & Younge, B. R. (1982). The laboratory diagnosis of mild myasthenia gravis. Annals of Neurology, 12(3), 238-242.