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Keywords

acetylcholine, dysphagia, edrophonium chloride, myasthenia gravis, myasthenic crisis, neuromuscular junction, skeletal muscle fatigue

 

Authors

  1. Vacca, Vincent M. Jr. MSN, RN, CCRN, SCRN, ENLS

Abstract

Abstract: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most commonly encountered autoimmune disease of the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction of skeletal muscles, affecting an estimated 700,000 individuals worldwide.1-3 MG has a variable age of onset, pattern of muscle involvement, severity, and clinical course. Approximately 15% to 20% of patients with MG will experience a myasthenic crisis (MC), typically within 2 years of diagnosis, which can lead to respiratory muscle compromise.4-6 Nurses must be knowledgeable about this disease and prepared to assist with pharmacologic testing and/or MC to ensure maximum safety for patients with MG before, during, and after evaluation.