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Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis.
Material and Methods: This observational descriptive study was conducted at Departments of
Cardiothoracic Surgery and Neurology Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar from January 2002 to December
2006. Computerized clinical data of 27 diagnosed cases of myasthenia gravis that underwent thymectomy
were retrospectively analyzed. Patients who were unfit for surgery were excluded from the study. CT scan
was done in all patients apart from routine investigations. Preoperative medication included
anticholinesterase drug. They all underwent Thymectomy via median sternotomy.
Results: A total of 27 patients (09 males and 18 females) with a mean age of 30.5 years (range 15-50
years) were analyzed. The preoperative duration of the disease ranged from 0.5 to 120 months
(mean=25.72 +/- 30.68 months). According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA)
clinical classification, 20 (74.07%) patients were in stage II while 7 (25.925%) patients were in stage III.
The histology of thymus glands consisted of hyperplasia in 12 (44.4%) patients, normal in 10 (37.1%),
atrophic thymus in 3 (11.1%) and thymoma in 2 (7.4%) patients. Hospital mortality was 7.4% (n=2/27)
while morbidity was 3.7% (n=1/27). The mean follow up period was 31.5 months (3-63 months). Complete
remission was achieved in 55.55% (n=15/27) patients, and marked improvement in 25.92% (n=7/27), for a
total benefit rate of 80%. Five (18.51%) patients remained unchanged and had no clinical improvement.
Conclusion: Thymectomy is a safe and effective treatment for patients with myasthenia gravis.
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