Jennifer Colavito, Jeffrey Cooper, Kenneth J Ciuffreda

Non-ptotic ocular myasthenia gravis: a common presentation of an uncommon disease

publication date
2005 Jul
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Background: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an acquired autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction which causes rapid muscle fatigue and weakness. Two thirds of all cases of myasthenia gravis (MG) initially manifest ptosis. In the absence of the characteristic variable ptosis, MG can present a challenge to the clinician. This article will review the current diagnostic and management strategies for MG.

Case reports: Five cases will be presented that did not initially present with ptosis. Each of these cases was previously misdiagnosed as a result of presentation of atypical myasthenia gravis signs and symptoms. The first two cases had signs and symptoms of a typical accommodative/vergence anomaly. The others manifested diplopia not normally associated with MG: one had a noncomitant vertical deviation; another had a stable 6(th) nerve palsy; and the third had a basic esotropia.


Although the hallmark findings of MG are ptosis and eye muscle palsy with variability, MG may present without ptosis, affect nonstriated muscles, and/or manifest either as a nonstrabismic vergence anomaly or as comitant nonvariable strabismic deviation.

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