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Published online: 2024-06-27

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Safety, efficacy and steroid-sparing effect of amifampridine in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome patients — real world data

Piotr Szczudlik1, Ewa Sobieszczuk1, Mieczysław Walczak2, Anna Kostera-Pruszczyk1

Abstract

Introduction. Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is an ultrarare neuromuscular disease with a triad of symptoms: muscle paresis, dysautonomy, and areflexia. Amifampridine is the symptomatic treatment of LEMS. Aim of study. To assess the effectiveness and safety of treatment in the real world.

Material and methods. 14 patients with non-neoplastic LEMS treated with amifampridine were enrolled in the study (female 42.9%, mean age 48.8 ± 11.4 years). The patients were assessed using the Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis (QMG) scale, QMG limb domain (LD) score, spirometry, Hand Grip Strength (GRIP) test, and repetitive nerve stimulation study (RNS) at baseline and at the end of follow-up. Diagnostic delay since first symptoms was from seven months up to 22 years. Treatment delay ranged from one to 26 years. The patients were treated and reevaluated after 21.1 ± 12.0 weeks (range 13–48).

Results. All of the patients improved in QMG score. Mean improvement was 5.1 ± 2.0 (range 1–8) points (p < 0.001) and this showed no correlation with the duration of the disease before treatment (p = 0.477). 85.7% of patients (N = 12) improved ≥ 3 points (clinically meaningful) in QMG. 78.6% of the patients improved in QMG LD (mean 2.2 ± 1.6 points (p < 0.001)). Also, forced vital capacity (FVC) improved after treatment (p = 0.031). Mean improvement in GRIP test was 7.0 ± 7.1 kg in the right hand and 5.2 ± 7.5 kg in the left hand (p < 0.001). In RNS before treatment, facilitation ( > 100%) was observed in 78.6% (N = 11) of patients, and was higher before treatment (p < 0.001). Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude was higher after treatment (p < 0.001). Mean increase of CMAP amplitude was 2.1 ± 1.6 times. In 64.3% (N = 9) of patients lowering of corticosteroid dose was achieved.

Conclusions. Amifampridine is an effective treatment in non-neoplastic LEMS patients, regardless of disease duration. The treatment is well-tolerated and allows to reduce dose of corticosteroids in the majority of patients.

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