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Myasthenia Gravis

Chronic kidney (hardening) link with MG

10/11/2007

Question:

Is there anything you can tell me about these two chronic diseases having an association with each other. My son 28 had wilms tumor at 3 lost his left kidney, and now has been diagnosed with the two chronic diseases. Is on pred. mestinon, and lisiniprin currently he is reacting well enough, very worried that none of his specialists can afford any info .....

Answer:

I have found no specific links between Wilms tumor (considered a genetic disease) and acquired autoimmune myasthenia gravis (considered an autoimmune disease). They might be just two diseases that unfortunately have affected your child. Myasthenia can have some crossover with bone marrow transplantation, but this is not a common treatment for Wilms tumor. The only other interesting thought would be thymus (a gland in your chest). There is a higher incidence of thymus disease in patients with myasthenia, and some have proposed a higher incidence of other solid tumors with Wilms' tumor. The caution is that the thymus in a child is larger than it is for us, so children can sometimes look like they have a tumor there if they do not have someone trained at looking at the films very well. Could there be damage to his remaining kidney from chemotherapy or radiation in the past?

I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Robert W Neel, IV, MD Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati