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October 1980

Heat-Induced Myasthenic Crisis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, WVa.

Arch Neurol. 1980;37(10):671-672. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500590095019

The deleterious effect of heat on the clinical symptoms and the electro-physiological abnormalities of myasthenia gravis is well established.1-4 In most patients, an elevation in total body or regional temperature from exposure to heat in the environment produces an increase in weakness that is usually benign in nature. This was the case in 14 of 15 patients with generalized myasthenia gravis, surveyed at random, who noted increased weakness in hot weather, with hot drinks, or in warm baths.3

The development of a myasthenic crisis during a febrile illness is a well-known clinical phenomenon. A case is reported to support the hypothesis that fever per se may play a determining role in the induction and course of myasthenic crisis during a febrile illness.

REPORT OF A CASE AND PHYSIOLOGIC STUDIES  A 30-year-old woman had the onset of myasthenia gravis in 1972. Her initial symptoms were nasal speech

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