Diagnostic Utility of Repetitive Nerve Stimulation in a Large Cohort of Patients With Myasthenia Gravis

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Optimizing the diagnostic utility of repetitive nerve stimulation in myasthenia gravis (MG) may include tailoring the examination to clinical phenotype. Therefore, we analyzed all available repetitive nerve stimulation parameters in a large cohort of patients with confirmed MG diagnosis.


All repetitive nerve stimulation examinations at the Uppsala University Hospital rendering an MG diagnosis during 1996 to 2014 were analyzed. The deltoid, trapezius, anconeus, nasalis, abductor digiti quinti, and frontalis muscles were examined.


Two hundred one patients with MG were diagnosed. Abnormal amplitude decrement was found in 54% of patients with ocular MG, 77% of patients with predominantly bulbar fatigue, and in 83% of patients with predominantly limb fatigue. The deltoid muscle had the highest sensitivity in all MG subtypes, with a mean of 77% sensitivity in all clinical subtypes, and the most pronounced decrement for amplitude (P = 0.0002) and area (P < 0.0001). Technical issues were rare.


These data contribute to further optimization of repetitive nerve stimulation strategies regarding muscle selection and technical performance in the electrodiagnostic workup of MG.

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