Myasthenia gravis patients exhibiting an eyelid myotonia-like phenomenon

Alon Abraham, Tanya Gurevich, Roy N. Alcalay, Arnon Karni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report here a retrospective case series of 3 MG patients suffering from difficulty opening eyes that appeared together with a diagnosis of MG. All are male patients with late-onset MG who are seropositive for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. The phenomenon was characterized by difficulty opening the eyes after forced closure or reflex eye closure, improving with the ice pack test and with repeated forced eye closure but worsening with pyridostigmine treatment. We provide a detailed clinical, serological, imaging and electrophysiological examination of these patients. Electromyography evaluation did not show spontaneous muscle activity or myotonia at rest in the orbital part of the orbicularis oculi muscle. However, there was sustained muscle activity lasting several seconds in the pre-tarsal and pre-septal parts of this muscle. Videos of those reported symptoms were produced and provided. We discuss the possible neurological pathophysiology of this disorder and suggest to name this rare ocular disorder “myotonia-like disorder of the pre-tarsal and pre-septal parts of the orbicularis oculi”. This study expands our knowledge of this rare clinical feature of MG and highlights the need for increased awareness of it and further investigation of this ocular manifestation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120783
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2023


  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myotonia
  • Orbicularis oculi
  • Orbital portion
  • Pre-septal portion
  • Pre-tarsal portion


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