The ageing and myasthenic thymus: a morphometric study validating a standard procedure in the histological workup of thymic specimens.
Ströbel P., Moritz R., Leite MI., Willcox N., Chuang W-Y., Gold R., Nix W., Schalke B., Kiefer R., Müller-Hermelink H-K., Jaretzki Iii A., Newsom-Davis J., Marx A.
The thymus is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG). The 80% of MG patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies fall into three clinical subgroups: 1) thymoma; 2) early-onset MG (<age of 40; EOMG) and 3) late-onset (LOMG; onset after 40). Thymectomy is widely used in EOMG, but its benefits have not been established in randomized controlled trials. A multicenter international trial (MGTX) currently seeks to determine whether thymectomy reduces corticosteroid requirements, and to look for correlations with thymic histology. We here describe the validated, standardized histological workup and reporting system used in this trial.