Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

A case of myasthenia gravis with invasive thymoma associated with diffuse panbronchiolitis, alopecia, dysgeusia, cholangitis and myositis

Risa Maekawa, M.D.1), Hideki Shibuya, M.D.2), Takuto Hideyama, M.D.1) and Yasushi Shiio, M.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Tokyo Teishin Hospital
2)Department of Respiratory Medicine, Tokyo Teishin Hospital

A 43-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of diplopia, ptosis, and dysphagia that had begun three years previously. He was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG) and invasive thymoma and treated with corticosteroid, thymectomy, and radiation therapy. Ten years after the thymectomy, computed tomography (CT) showed metastasis of the thymoma in the left lower lobe of the lung. Two years after this recurrence, when the patient was 55, respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, persistent cough, and dyspnea appeared. Chronic sinusitis, diffuse centrilobular opacities on CT, and positivity for HLA-B54 led to a diagnosis of diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB). Despite treatment with clarithromycin, the respiratory symptoms worsened. The patient developed alopecia and body hair loss at the age of 56 followed by dysgeusia, cholangitis, and myositis with positivity for anti-Kv1.4 antibodies. Although treatment with an increased dose of corticosteroid improved hair loss, dysgeusia, cholangitis, and myositis, he died of progression of DPB and serious respiratory infection at the age of 58. In this case, various autoimmune disorders occurred together with MG as complications of thymoma. Although alopecia, dysgeusia, and myositis are already known as complications of MG associated with thymoma, cholangitis is not well-recognized since there have been few reports suggesting a causal relationship between cholangitis and thymoma. Furthermore, DPB caused by immunodeficiency and respiratory tract hypersensitivity associated with thymoma and HLA-B54, respectively, is the distinctive feature of our case. Neurologists should be aware that various organs can be damaged directly and indirectly by abnormal T cells from thymoma in patients with MG.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (3486K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 703|708, 2014)
key words: thymoma, myasthenia gravis, diffuse panbronchiolitis, myositis, cholangitis

(Received: 20-Sep-13)