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September 3, 1960

Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis: A Record of Experiences at the Massachusetts General Hospital

JAMA. 1960;174(1):95. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030010097037

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A monograph on so uncommon a disease as myasthenia gravis is well justified by the authors' experience with over 500 patients with this disorder seen at the Massachusetts General Hospital, 139 of whom have been subjected to thymectomy. On the basis of this unique experience, the authors have outlined the indications for thymectomy in myasthenia gravis, the prognosis following operation, and surgical procedures which have reduced the mortality in the authors' series almost to zero. The monograph is much more comprehensive than is indicated by its title. It includes a general review of the historical background, current theories regarding neuromuscular transmission of the nerve impulse, as well as presumed functions of the thymus. In addition to the four chapters by the authors, the book includes such chapters as "Pathology of the thymus gland" by Benjamin Castleman; "Radiologic features of myasthenia gravis" by Laurence L. Robbins; "Technic of thymectomy" by Richard

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