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Hanamaki, Japan

Utsugisawa K.,Hanamaki General Hospital
Nihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine | Year: 2013

Many patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) still find it difficult to maintain daily activities due to chronic residual fatigability and long-term side effects of oral corticosteroids, since full remission is not common. Our analysis demonstrated that disease severity, oral corticosteroids, and depressive state are the major factors negatively associated with QOL, and that QOL of MM status patients taking < or = 5 mg prednisolne/day is identically good as that seen in CSR and is a target of treatment. In order to achieve early MM or better status with prednisolne < or = 5 mg/day, we advocate the early aggressive treatment strategy that can achieve early improvement by performing an aggressive therapy using combined treatment with plasmapheresis and high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone and then maintain an improved status using low-dose oral corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. Source

Nagane Y.,Hanamaki General Hospital
Clinical Neurology | Year: 2013

Presently, myasthenia gravis (MG) is seldom lethal. However, full remission without immune treatment is not common, and many patients still find it difficult to maintain daily activities. To both determine factors affecting health-related quality of life (QOL) and propose an appropriate treatment target for patients with MG, we evaluated 640 consecutive patients with MG seen at 11 neurological centers. Two-year follow-up data were obtained for 282 patients. Correlations between detailed clinical facotrs and the Japanese version of the 15-item MG-specific QOL scale were analyzed. In the cross-sectional analysis of 640 MG patients, multivariate regression revealed that disease severity as evaluated by MG Composite (p < 0.0001), but not quantitative MG score, total dose of oral prednisolone (p = 0.002), but not current dose, and Cushingoid appearance index (p = 0.0004) showed significant negative effects on QOL. Achieving status of Minimal Manifestations or better with prednisolone ≤5 mg/day was found to exert a major positive impact on QOL in both the cross-sectional and 2-year follow-up patient samples and can be recommended as a treatment target. Source

Suzuki S.,Keio University | Baba A.,Kitasato University | Kaida K.,National Defense Medical College | Utsugisawa K.,Hanamaki General Hospital | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Neurology | Year: 2014

Background and purpose: There is no general consensus as to whether autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is associated with heart diseases, despite the fact that myocarditis, a serious cardiac involvement treatable by immunotherapy, is a complication of MG. It has been observed previously that MG patients with clinically suspected myocarditis had anti-Kv1.4 antibodies. The purpose of this study was to disclose the association between anti-Kv1.4 antibodies and cardiac involvements in MG patients. Methods: Anti-Kv1.4 antibody was detected by an immunoprecipitation assay using 35S-labeled rhabdomyosarcome cellular extract as the antigen source. Cardiac findings including electrocardiography (ECG) and clinical features of clinically suspected myocarditis in MG patients with anti-Kv1.4 antibodies were investigated. Ultrasound echocardiography (UCG) of ex vivo chick embryos was performed to determine the suppressive effects of sera with or without anti-Kv1.4 antibodies on heart muscle functions. Results: Seventy (10.8%) of 650 MG patients had anti-Kv1.4 antibodies and 60% of them had abnormal ECG findings with high frequencies of T-wave abnormality and QT prolongation. Clinically suspected myocarditis was found in eight MG patients with anti-Kv1.4 antibodies but in none of the MG patients without anti-Kv1.4 antibodies. Most patients showed rapid deterioration with lethal arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia, sick sinus syndrome, or complete atrial ventricular block and severe heart failure. It was concluded using UCG of ex vivo chick embryos that MG serum with anti-Kv1.4 antibodies suppressed heart muscle functions. Conclusion: It has been demonstrated that anti-Kv1.4 antibodies are possible markers for cardiac involvements in MG patients. © 2013 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2013 EFNS. Source

Nagane Y.,Hanamaki General Hospital | Suzuki S.,Keio University | Suzuki N.,Keio University | Utsugisawa K.,Hanamaki General Hospital
European Neurology | Year: 2010

Background: Cyclosporine (CsA) microemulsion pre-concentrate (MEPC) is a potential steroid-sparing agent for myasthenia gravis (MG) patients; however, there is a paucity of information on the long-term use of CsA MEPC in these patients. Objectives: We examined the efficacy and safety of CsA MEPC therapy administered to MG patients in a 2-year prospective open trial. Methods: From Hanamaki General Hospital and Keio University Hospital, 28 patients provided informed consent. They were enrolled in a prospective open study of CsA MEPC for the initial 6-month observation period; after this 9 were defined as poor responders and excluded from the long-term analysis. Results: The proportion of patients with minimal manifestations or pharmacologic remission status increased significantly. Among 18 patients taking oral prednisolone, 16 (88.9%) achieved a ≥50% reduction in prednisolone dose. Time to attain the minimal quantitative MG (QMG) score (4.2 ± 2.6) was 4.2 ± 4.2 months. Time to attain the minimal dose of prednisolone (2.9 ± 3.1 mg/day) was 9.3 ± 6.9 months. The dose of CsA MEPC was reduced to 2.6 mg/kg/day 2 years after starting the drug. Both total and ocular QMG scores were significantly decreased at 6 months and were generally maintained thereafter. The dose of prednisolone was significantly reduced at 1 year, and further reduced at 2 years. BMI decreased significantly, and 9 of 12 (75%) patients complaining of moon face reported that this had resolved on exit. All patients tolerated CsA MEPC without significant side effects. Conclusion: CsA MEPC therapy in responder MG patients suppressed disease severity, reduced steroid requirements, and alleviated steroid-related side effects. These findings should be confirmed by prospective controlled double-blind trials. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG. Source

Suzuki S.,Keio University | Utsugisawa K.,Hanamaki General Hospital | Suzuki N.,Keio University
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) may have various non-motor symptoms in addition to fatigability and weakness of skeletal muscles. Thymomas contain abundant immature thymocytes and developing CD4 and CD8 T cells. Thymomas are found in 15-25% of patients with MG and are associated with severe symptoms. We suggest that non-motor symptoms are based on the autoimmune disorders probably owing to an abnormal T cell repertoire from thymomas. Using previously reported cases and cases from our multicentre cooperative study, we review the clinical characteristics of patients with thymoma-associated MG who have nonmotor symptoms. CD8 T cell cytotoxicity against haematopoietic precursor cells in bone marrow and unidentified autoantigens in hair follicles lead to the development of pure red cell aplasia, immunodeficiency and alopecia areata. In contrast, neuromyotonia, limbic encephalitis, myocarditis and taste disorders are autoantibody-mediated disorders, as is MG. Autoantibodies to several types of voltage-gated potassium channels and the related molecules can evoke various neurological and cardiac disorders. About 25% of patients with thymoma-associated MG have at least one non-motor symptom. Non-motor symptoms affect many target organs and result in a broad spectrum of disease, ranging from the impairment of quality of life to lethal conditions. Since relatively little attention is paid to non-motor symptoms in patients with thymomaassociated MG, the symptoms may be overlooked by many physicians. Early diagnosis is important, since non-motor symptoms can be treatable. A complete understanding of non-motor symptoms is necessary for the management of patients with thymoma-associated MG. Source

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