Autoantibodies in Japanese patients with ocular myasthenia gravis.
Nagaishi A., Narita T., Woodhall M., Jacobson L., Waters P., Irani SR., Vincent A., Matsuo H.
INTRODUCTION: The majority of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) initially present with ocular symptoms, but it is difficult to predict which cases will remain as ocular MG (OMG) or will progress to generalized MG. Herein we evaluated the serologic profile of Japanese OMG and its relationship with clinical features. METHODS: Seventy-three patients with OMG from five Japanese myasthenia gravis (MG) centers were enrolled. Live cell-based assays (CBAs) were used to determine the presence of autoantibodies (Abs) to clustered adult (2α, β, δ, ε) and fetal (2α, β, δ, γ) acetylcholine receptor (AChR) isoforms, muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK), and lipoprotein receptor-related protein-4 (LRP4). RESULTS: Thirty-four of 73 (46.5%) serum samples were positive for Abs against both the adult-type and fetal-type AChR, as expected, but 7 (9.6%) and 2 (2.7%) were positive only for fetal or adult AChR-Abs, respectively. Four (5.4%) samples were positive for MuSK-Abs, but two of these also contained antibodies to fetal AChR or LRP4. Twenty-six (35.6%) samples were seronegative. DISCUSSION: Abs against fetal-specific AChR, MuSK, and LRP4 are found in some patients with OMG. Future studies attempting to predict conversion from ocular symptoms to generalized MG may benefit from measurement of these antibodies.