EFNS/ENS Guidelines for the treatment of ocular myasthenia

European Journal of Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.06). 01/2014; 21(5). DOI: 10.1111/ene.12359
Source: PubMed


The symptoms of acquired autoimmune ocular myasthenia are restricted to the extrinsic eye muscles, causing double vision and drooping eyelids. These guidelines are designed to provide advice about best clinical practice based on the current state of clinical and scientific knowledge and the consensus of an expert panel.
Evidence for these guidelines was collected by searches in the MEDLINE and Cochrane databases. The task force working group reviewed evidence from original articles and systematic reviews. The evidence was classified (I, II, III, IV) and consensus recommendation graded (A, B or C) according to the EFNS guidance. Where there was a lack of evidence but clear consensus, good practice points are provided.
The treatment of ocular myasthenia should initially be started with pyridostigmine (good practice point). If this is not successful in relieving symptoms, oral corticosteroids should be used on an alternate-day regimen (recommendation level C). If steroid treatment does not result in good control of the symptoms or if it is necessary to use high steroid doses, steroid-sparing treatment with azathioprine should be started (recommendation level C). If ocular myasthenia gravis is associated with thymoma, thymectomy is indicated. Otherwise, the role of thymectomy in ocular myasthenia is controversial. Steroids and thymectomy may modify the course of ocular myasthenia and prevent myasthenia gravis generalization (good practice point).

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    • "An evidence-based review made no conclusion regarding whether it was appropriate to initiate therapy with AChE inhibitors or with corticosteroids for patients with ocular myasthenia [12]. However, the EFNS/ENS guidelines recommend that the treatment of ocular myasthenia should initially be started with pyridostigmine [13]. We agree with the principal concept of the EFNS/ENS guidelines’ recommendation and initially treated by AChE inhibitors in most patients with ocular myasthenia. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Since there has been no conclusive evidence regarding the treatment of ocular myasthenia, treatment guidelines were recently issued by the European Federation of Neurological Societies/European Neurological Society (EFNS/ENS). However, the therapeutic outcomes concerning the quality-of-life (QOL) of patients with ocular myasthenia are not yet fully understood. Methods We investigated the therapeutic outcomes of patients with purely ocular myasthenia in a multicenter cross-sectional survey in Japan. To evaluate the severity of ocular symptoms, we used the ocular-quantitative MG (QMG) score advocated by Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. We used the Japanese translated version of the MG-QOL15, a self-appraised scoring system. Results Of 607 myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with an observation-duration of illness ≥ 2 years, the cases of 123 patients (20%) were limited to ocular muscles (purely ocular myasthenia). During the entire clinical course, 81 patients experienced both ptosis and diplopia, 36 had ptosis alone, and six had diplopia alone. Acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitors and prednisolone were used in 98 and 52 patients, respectively. Treatment improved ocular symptoms, with the mean reduction in ocular-QMG score of 2.3 ± 1.8 points. However, 47 patients (38%) failed to gain minimal manifestation or a better status. Patients with unfavorable outcomes also self-reported severe QOL impairment. Multivariate analyses showed that the pretreatment ocular-QMG score was associated with unfavorable outcomes, but not associated with the patient’s QOL. Conclusion A treatment strategy designed in accord with a patient's ocular presentation must be considered in order to improve ocular symptoms and the patient's QOL.
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