A retrospective survey of the records of 287 patients with generalised myasthenia gravis treated at New End Hospital and later at the Royal Free Hospital by anticholinesterase drugs, with or without thymectomy, between the years 1942 and 1976, shows that 62% of patients were improved. The timing of the operation, the grading of disease and the age and sex of the patient did not greatly influence overall results. The poor diagnosis of thymic tumours was confirmed in this series. A decrease occurred in the number of patients achieving complete remission after 1961, although the proportion of patients improving did not fall. It is possible that anticholinesterase therapy may alter the response to thymectomy.
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