Myasthenia Gravis: Myasthenia vs. Cholinergic Crisis


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Abstract

A serious complication of myasthenia gravis is respiratory failure. This may be secondary to an exacerbation of myasthenia (myasthenia crisis) or to treatment with excess doses of a cholinesterase inhibitor (cholinergic crisis). Managing respiratory failure and differentiating a myasthenia from a cholinergic crisis is reviewed. Due to the unpredictable development of respiratory failure, hospitalization is recommended for most patients with exacerbations or complications of myasthenia gravis.

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