Practice patterns in the management of myasthenia gravis: a cross-sectional survey of neurologists in the United States

Authors

  • Vera Bril MD Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Jacqueline Palace MD Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals Trust, Oxford, UK
  • Tahseen Mozaffar MD UC Irvine-MDA ALS and Neuromuscular Center, University of California, Irvine, California, USA
  • Deborah Gelinas MD Medical Affairs, argenx, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Edward Brauer PharmD Medical Affairs, argenx, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Paul Nisbet PhD One Research, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
  • Gil I. Wolfe MD Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/rrnmf.v2i5.15806

Keywords:

cross-sectional survey, myasthenia gravis, clinical practice guideline, clinical practice patterns, disease management

Abstract

Background: Management of myasthenia gravis (MG), a rare immunoglobulin G autoantibody–mediated neuromuscular junction disorder, is driven by physician experience. To gain insight into current practices and physician needs, neurologists’ use of guidelines and disease activity evaluations to manage MG was assessed. Methods: In November and December of 2020, a quantitative, cross-sectional, 51-item, online survey–based study was used to collect data from 100 community neurologists, from 31 US states, who treat MG. Differences across ratio variables were analyzed via Chi-square and t tests, at a significance level of P<0.05. Results: Of respondents, 76% reported using clinical judgment rather than guidelines to inform treatment decisions, and only 29% reported awareness of the updated 2020 International Consensus Guidance for Management of Myasthenia Gravis. Treatment patterns reported include use of prednisone-equivalent corticosteroid doses ≤10 mg/day for ≥6 months (76% of respondents). When corticosteroids are contraindicated or after failure of an initial nonsteroidal immunosuppressant therapy (NSIST), immunoglobulin therapy is the respondents’ preferred initial treatment in patients with acetylcholine receptor antibody–positive generalized MG (vs a second NSIST). Respondents expressed interest in more guidance on crisis management, initiating/titrating maintenance medications, and managing patients with comorbidities. Conclusions: Respondents to this survey reported varied approaches to MG management and, in some clinical settings, heavier reliance on clinical judgment than on available consensus-based guidance. Also observed was potential underutilization of NSISTs in patients for whom corticosteroids are contraindicated, with reliance, instead, on immunoglobulin.

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Published

2021-12-20

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Section

New Discoveries/New Stuff (Original Research)