Introduction: Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease affecting the neuromuscular junction, often associated with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis present an increased prevalence of myasthenia gravis compared to the general population. While these two diseases share some therapeutic options, such as glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab, there are no guidelines for treating concomitant disease. We aim to review the available evidence and to discuss the efficacy and safety of the therapeutic options in patients with rheumatoid arthritis associated with myasthenia gravis. Method: We described three patients with rheumatoid arthritis associated with myasthenia gravis and we performed a systematic review of the associated literature. Results: A 48-year-old man and two women (48 and 55 years old) with concomitant diagnoses of active rheumatoid arthritis and well-controlled myasthenia gravis are described. They were treated with methotrexate, leflunomide, upadacitinib, and adalimumab. None of them experienced changes in their myasthenic symptoms. We found 9 additional cases from our literature review. Methotrexate, rituximab, upadacitinib, diphenyl sulfone, auranofin, and loxoprofen sodium did not show an impact on the seven patients with previously well-controlled myasthenia. Glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab proved effective in active myasthenia gravis and arthritis. Conflicting data emerged for Tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors. Conclusions: Although the available evidence remains scarce, we consider glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab as safe and effective options. The role of tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors remains uncertain. Eventually, Janus Kinase inhibitors are a novel interesting option for these patients. Key Points • To date, the only evidence on the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant myasthenia gravis derives from case reports. • Based on the review of the available case reports and on the cases we described, we consider glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab as safe and effective options, while the role of Tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors remains uncertain. • Based on the cases we described, Janus Kinase inhibitors are a novel interesting option for patients with concomitant rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis.

Rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis: a case-based review of the therapeutic options

Bixio, Riccardo;Bertelle, Davide;Pedrollo, Elisa;Carletto, Antonio;Rossini, Maurizio;Viapiana, Ombretta
2022

Abstract

Introduction: Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease affecting the neuromuscular junction, often associated with other autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis present an increased prevalence of myasthenia gravis compared to the general population. While these two diseases share some therapeutic options, such as glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab, there are no guidelines for treating concomitant disease. We aim to review the available evidence and to discuss the efficacy and safety of the therapeutic options in patients with rheumatoid arthritis associated with myasthenia gravis. Method: We described three patients with rheumatoid arthritis associated with myasthenia gravis and we performed a systematic review of the associated literature. Results: A 48-year-old man and two women (48 and 55 years old) with concomitant diagnoses of active rheumatoid arthritis and well-controlled myasthenia gravis are described. They were treated with methotrexate, leflunomide, upadacitinib, and adalimumab. None of them experienced changes in their myasthenic symptoms. We found 9 additional cases from our literature review. Methotrexate, rituximab, upadacitinib, diphenyl sulfone, auranofin, and loxoprofen sodium did not show an impact on the seven patients with previously well-controlled myasthenia. Glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab proved effective in active myasthenia gravis and arthritis. Conflicting data emerged for Tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors. Conclusions: Although the available evidence remains scarce, we consider glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab as safe and effective options. The role of tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors remains uncertain. Eventually, Janus Kinase inhibitors are a novel interesting option for these patients. Key Points • To date, the only evidence on the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant myasthenia gravis derives from case reports. • Based on the review of the available case reports and on the cases we described, we consider glucocorticoids, methotrexate, and rituximab as safe and effective options, while the role of Tumor-necrosis factor inhibitors remains uncertain. • Based on the cases we described, Janus Kinase inhibitors are a novel interesting option for patients with concomitant rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis.
JAK inhibitors
Myasthenia gravis
Rheumatoid arthritis
bDMARDs
tsDMARDs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1055576
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