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ARTICLE |

THE EFFECT OF PREGNANCY ON THE COURSE OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

HENRY R. VIETS, M.D.; ROBERT S. SCHWAB, M.D.; MARY A. B. BRAZIER, Ph.D.
JAMA. 1942;119(3):236-242. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830200004002.
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Pregnancy may and often does cause profound changes in patients with myasthenia gravis. In some instances during part or all of the nine months of childbearing symptoms disappear entirely; more rarely the disease increases in severity in the early months, and in a few instances during this period abortions for therapeutic reasons have been considered justifiable. More rarely remission does not take place during the entire pregnancy.

The subject has received scant attention in the literature, and few instances of pregnancy occurring in patients with myasthenia gravis have been reported. This is partly due to the rarity of the disease. At the Boston Lying-In Hospital only 1 patient with myasthenia gravis was registered in more than 63,268 admissions between 1900 and 1940. Most textbooks on obstetrics, moreover, do not mention the disease.

Myasthenia gravis, or grave muscle weakness, is a disease characterized by an abnormal state of fatigability of particular

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