Thymoma may explain the confusion: a case report

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Background: The association of inflammatory myopathy and myasthenia gravis is a rarely described entity whose clinical presentation has always been intriguing because of the great clinical similarity between these two pathologies. The presence of a thymic pathology often explains this combination, whose mechanisms are very complex. Case presentation: A 56-year-old woman of North African origin, was hospitalized to explore the Raynaud phenomenon associated with proximal muscle weakness, pain, and arthralgia. There was no rash, and neuromuscular examination had revealed proximal tetraparesis and mild neck weakness. Tendon reflexes were normal. There was no abnormal nail fold capillaroscopy. A significant titer of muscle enzymes had been shown on blood tests, and autoimmune screening for myositis-specific and myositis-associated autoantibodies was negative. Electromyography had shown a myopathic pattern, and muscle biopsy confirmed an inflammatory myopathy. Although steroids were introduced, the clinical course was unsatisfactory; ophthalmic and bulbar symptomatology appeared. The association of myasthenia gravis was confirmed by an elevated level of serum acetylcholine receptor. A chest computed tomography scan had identified a thymoma. Treated with prednisone, pyridostigmine, and thymectomy, the patient’s clinical and biological evolution was favorable. Conclusion: This case illustrates an exceptional association of two entities and the difficulty encountered during their diagnosis and treatment. The management of these two diseases is different, so it is essential to recognize this concomitant presentation.




Maaroufi, A., Assoufi, N., Essaoudi, M. A., & Fatihi, J. (2021). Thymoma may explain the confusion: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 15(1).

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