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Successful autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for refractory myasthenia gravis – a case report
Irene Håkanssona, b, , , Anna Sandstedtc, Fredrik Lundina, b, Håkan Askmarkd, Ritva Pirskanene, Kristina Carlsonf, Fredrik Piehlg, Hans Hägglundf
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease, with immune reactivity against the post-synaptic endplate of the neuromuscular junction.
Apart from symptomatic treatment with choline esterase blockers, many patients also require immunomodulatory treatment. Despite existing treatment options, some patients are treatment refractory.
We describe a patient with severe MG refractory to corticosteroids, four oral immunosuppressants, cyclophosphamide, rituximab and bortezomib who was treated with autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Two years after this, the patient has significantly improved in objective tests and in quality of life and leads an active life. Diplopia is her only remaining symptom and she is completely free of medication for MG.
We believe that autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be an effective therapeutic option for carefully selected cases of severe, treatment refractory MG.