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Noninvasive ventilation in acute neuromuscular respiratory failure due to myasthenic crisis: case report and review of literature
  1. R Agarwal,
  2. C Reddy,
  3. D Gupta
  1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Ritesh Agarwal
 Senior Resident, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India; drritesh1{at}

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A 30 year old male, a follow up case of myasthenia gravis, presented to the Emergency Department with complaints of sore throat, followed by increasing weakness in both the upper limbs and lower limbs. He also gave history of worsening bulbar weakness and progressive dyspnea on exertion. Two years ago the patient had undergone thymectomy. However, following thymectomy, the patient had minimal improvement in symptoms and was continued on glucocorticoids and pyridostigmine. Presently he was on prednisolone 30 mg/day and pyridostigmine 60 mg six times a day. On examination, he was conscious and afebrile with a pulse rate of 96 beats/minute, blood pressure 110/80 mm Hg and respiratory rate of 26/minute. Neurological examination revealed ptosis, dysphonia, bilateral asymmetric extra-ocular muscle weakness, and bifacial weakness. He had a single breath count of 10 and a breath holding time of 12 seconds. Pulse oximetry revealed a saturation of 87% breathing room air. Arterial blood gases were performed, which confirmed hypercapnic respiratory failure (pH 7.3, PaO2 6.9 kPa, PaCO2 6.7 kPa, HCO3 26 mEq/L). The patient was started on supplemental …

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