Report of the ASFA apheresis registry on muscle specific kinase antibody positive myasthenia gravis

Chisa Yamada, Huy P. Pham, Yanyun Wu, Laura Cooling, Haewon C. Kim, Shanna Morgan, Joseph Schwartz, Jeffrey L. Winters, Edward C.C. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Anti-muscle specific kinase antibody positive (MuSK Ab) myasthenia gravis (MG) patients are known to have different clinical course compared to anti-acetylcholine receptor Ab positive MG patients. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) has been reported to be effective; however, little is known of the response and of TPE procedural information. An ASFA Apheresis Registry was developed to analyze those data. Methods: The study collected detailed de-identified patient data, TPE procedures, and treatment outcome/complications. Collected data was described in aggregate. Results: A total of 15 MuSK Ab MG patients with exacerbation of MG symptoms, 13 females/2 males, median age 44, were investigated. Thirty TPE courses (median 5 procedures/course, total 145 procedures) were evaluated. All TPE procedures were performed with citrate anticoagulation, 1 − 1.25 plasma volume exchange in 100% fluid balance, and 90% of courses used only albumin as replacement. Calcium was added to albumin or given orally as needed. TPE was performed every other day in 55% of courses. Adverse events occurred in 3.4% of procedures. Ten patients (67%) experienced relapses within a median of 7 weeks. Objective symptoms were resolved in more than 75% of courses. Overall subjective improvement rates were 94.1%/93.3% after 3/4 TPE procedures, respectively. Thirty-one percent of patients responded poorly with minimal recovery. Conclusion: Overall subjective improvement was seen up to 94% of patients after one course of TPE. Some patients were poor-responders. Five TPE may be adequate for initial course with additional TPE as needed. Based upon this preliminary data, we will modify our future data collection. J. Clin. Apheresis 32:5–11, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • ASFA apheresis registry
  • MuSK MG
  • therapeutic plasma exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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