Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Case Report(s)


1 Endocrine Research Center, Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Firoozgar Clinical Research Development Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Shefa Neuroscience Research Center, Khatam Alanbia Hospital, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Neurology, Firoozgar Hospital, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


For a while, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has been a major global pandemic. It primarily affects the respiratory system but has extrapulmonary manifestations such as gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. Data on myasthenia gravis (MG), as a complication of COVID-19, are limited. We herein report the manifestation of ocular MG as an initial symptom of COVID-19.
In November 2020, a 31-year-old healthy woman was referred to Firoozgar Hospital (Tehran, Iran) with left upper eyelid ptosis and diplopia as well as general weakness, myalgia, fever, and nasal congestion for four days prior to admission. Although the acetylcholine receptor antibody in her serum was negative, increased jitter in several muscles led to the diagnosis of ocular MG. Nasal swab reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest revealed bilateral ground-glass opacities and some foci of consolidation formation, but the thymus was normal. The patient was successfully treated with remdesivir and dexamethasone. The patient was eventually discharged in good condition and with improved neurological symptoms.
A limited number of studies have suggested a possible association between MG and COVID-19. Therefore, further data are required to substantiate the proposed association. Clinicians should be aware of ocular MG during the COVID-19 pandemic to better diagnose and manage patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.