Correlating extent of neuromuscular instability with acetylcholine receptor antibodies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Maria E Farrugia
  • Saiju Jacob
  • Ptolemaios G Sarrigiannis
  • Robin P Kennett

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • John Radcliffe Hospital


In a retrospective study of 86 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), we correlated the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody titers with single-fiber EMG studies to explore whether a relationship exists between these parameters. We found that the AChR antibody titers correlated significantly with the mean of the mean consecutive difference of orbicularis oculi (OO, P<0.0001) and extensor digitorum communis (EDC, P<0.0001). The correlation was found to be stronger in OO. The antibody titers also correlated with the percentage of potential pairs with increased jitter in both muscles and, again, the correlation was more significant in OO (P<0.0001) than in EDC (P=0.001). We speculate that this relationship is stronger in OO than in the limb muscles, because the architectural and immunological differences in the motor unit render OO more vulnerable and sensitive to disturbances in neuromuscular transmission.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-93
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies/blood, Electromyography, Facial Muscles/immunology, Female, Fingers, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle, Skeletal/immunology, Myasthenia Gravis/immunology, Receptors, Nicotinic/immunology, Retrospective Studies, Young Adult