March 1981

Antiacetylcholine Receptor Antibody in Neonatal Myasthenia Gravis

Author Affiliations

From the Henry M. Watts, Jr, Muscular Dystrophy Center, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Drs Donaldson, Lisak, and Schotland); the H. Houston Merritt Clinical Research Center for Muscular Dystrophy and Related Diseases, Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York (Dr Penn); and the Department of Neurology, Hebrew University Haddasah Medical School, Jerusalem (Drs Abramsky and Brenner). Dr Donaldson is now with the University of Connecticut, Farmington.

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(3):222-226. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130270014006

• Maternal titers to antiacetylcholine receptor antibody (anti-AChR Ab) were higher in two mothers with myasthenia gravis (MG) who had infants with neonatal MG than the nearly normal values in two mothers with MG who had unaffected infants. In one unaffected infant, another IgG antibody crossed the placenta, but an IgM antibody did not. In neonates there seems to be a correlation between the concentration of anti-AChR Ab and the presence and severity of the neonatal syndrome. The absence of fetal symptoms of MG and the delayed onset or worsening of some cases of neonatal MG may be due to high fetal levels of α-fetoprotein and its decline in concentration in infants after birth.

(Am J Dis Child 1981;135:222-226)