Skip to content

Results of Robotic Thymectomy Performed in Myasthenia Gravis Patients Older Than 60 Years at Onset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Feng Li
  • Reona Takahashi
  • Gero Bauer
  • Mike-S Yousef
  • Benjamin Hotter
  • Marc Swierzy
  • Alexandra McAleenan
  • Mahmoud Ismail
  • Andreas Meisel
  • Jens-C. Rückert
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Early online date15 Mar 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Feb 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 15 Mar 2019


Background Data are limited on the safety and efficacy of robotic thymectomy in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients older than 60 years at onset.

Methods Patients older than 60 years at MG onset who underwent robotic thymectomy in Charite Universitaetsmedizin Berlin between 2003 and 2017 were potentially eligible for inclusion. The main outcomes were perioperative complications and clinical outcome according to the MG Foundation of America Post-Intervention Status (MGFA-PIS).

Results Sixty-eight (25 females, 43 males) of 580 MG patients who underwent robotic thymectomy were eligible for perioperative analyses (median age at MG onset 67 years [range 61-85]). The perioperative morbidity rate was 13.2% and the only perioperative mortality was due to aortic dissection. Fifty-one patients were available for further analysis with a median follow-up time of 60 months (range 12-263). The complete stable remission (CSR) rate was 7.8%, the improvement rate was 68.6% and the overall mortality rate was 11.8%. Compared with preoperative use, the average daily dose of corticosteroids was significantly reduced at the last follow-up (17.6±23.6 VS 2.6±6.1 mg, P=0.0001) without increased use of azathioprine (35.9±61.9 VS 42.7±59 mg, P=0.427). After excluding two patients seronegative for the anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody, 10 out of 49 seropositive patients achieved “good outcome” (including four CSR, three pharmacologic remission and three minimal manifestations 0) which was predicted by being free of concomitant disease (OR: 7.307, 95% CI (1.188-44.937), P=0.032) and MGFA classification I prethymectomy (OR: 6.696, 95% CI (1.259-35.620), P=0.026).

Conclusion Robotic thymectomy seems to be safe and effective in MG patients older than 60 years at onset with a significant steroid-sparing effect.



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 363 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 15/03/20

    Request copy

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups