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Myasthenia Gravis

Antibody tests for myasthenia gravis

01/23/2008

Question:

After developing symptoms including severe muscle fatigue, weakness, and difficulty swallowing, I was tested for the MuSK antibody which was negative. I was not tested for the more common Acetylcholine Receptor Antibodies. Is there ever a reason to test someone only for the MuSK antibody but not the more common antibodies related to MG? I am very puzzled by this.

Thank you.

Answer:

I have been unable to find a reason to check the MUSK antibody without checking the acetylcholine receptor antibodies. I would discuss this with your physician and ask. 10-20% of myasthenics are antibody negative, meaning to the binding/blocking/modulating acetyl choline receptor antibody types. Of those 10-20% that are negative, 30-70% of these have the MUSK antibody.

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Response by:

Robert W Neel, IV, MD Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati