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November 1, 1941

THE TREATMENT OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS BY REMOVAL OF THE THYMUS GLANDPRELIMINARY REPORT

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE
From the Departments of Surgery and Medicine of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

JAMA. 1941;117(18):1529-1533. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820440037009
Abstract

Many observers have, commented on the frequency of abnormalities of the thymus in patients with myasthenia gravis. Approximately one half of the reports of autopsies on patients with myasthenia gravis have contained descriptions of benign tumors, hyperplasia or persistence of the thymus. It is true, of course, that the autopsies on patients with myasthenia gravis are more apt to be reported if there is present some abnormality such as a tumor of the thymic region. On the other hand, it is likely that many small tumors or other abnormalities of the thymus have been overlooked at necropsy in a number of patients with myasthenia gravis. Norris 1 expressed the opinion that pathologic changes may be found in the thymus in cases of myasthenia gravis in direct ratio to the care with which they are sought.

The literature contains the descriptions of only a few attempts to influence the course of

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