Myasthenia Gravis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: May 22, 2017
  • Author: Aashit K Shah, MD, FAAN, FANA; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Myasthenia gravis (MG) can mimic other diagnoses in elderly persons and vice versa. Examples of such pathology include diagnoses such as congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism, and acute myocardial infarction.

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis, other problems to be considered include the following:

  • Botulism
  • Compressive lesions of cranial nerves
  • Congenital myasthenic syndromes
  • Depression
  • Drug-induced myasthenialike syndrome - This may be related to D-penicillamine, antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, ampicillin, polymyxins, or aminoglycosides), antispasmodic drugs (trihexyphenidyl), beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agents (propranolol, timolol), or cardiac drugs (procainamide, verapamil, quinidine)
  • Kearns-Sayre syndrome
  • Mitochondrial cytopathies
  • Mitochondrial myopathies, with or without external ophthalmoplegia
  • Neurasthenia
  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy

Differential Diagnoses