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Between 10% and 20% of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) have a thymoma. Complete surgical removal forms the cornerstone of treatment regimes with adjuvant radiotherapy recommended in cases of incomplete resection. Thymomas are characterised by an indolent growth with good prognosis. However, recurrence is seen in 7–30% of patients.1
Myasthenic symptoms often remain after removal of a thymoma, with over 80% of the patients requiring continued immunosuppression.2 These patients continue to attend general neurology clinics and, therefore, it is necessary that neurologists are alert to the possibility of a thymoma recurrence.
We describe five patients with MG who had undergone a thymectomy but developed late recurrence of thymoma.
We undertook a review of the patient records from a dedicated MG clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and identified cases of late recurrent thymoma. ‘Late’ was defined as a recurrence appearing at least 6 years after the initial resection. This interval was chosen based on a study showing that thymoma recurrence was usually observed within 6.25 years after the initial resection.3 Over many years, all of the patients were reviewed regularly by one of …
Funding This work was supported by the Myasthenia Gravis Association.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.