Nationwide survey of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome in Japan

Hiroaki Yoshikawa, Yumi Adachi, Yosikazu Nakamura, Nagato Kuriyama, Hiroyuki Murai, Yoshiko Nomura, Yasunari Sakai, Kazuo Iwasa, Yutaka Furukawa, Satoshi Kuwabara, Makoto Matsui

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There was no nationwide epidemiological study of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in Japan; therefore, we conducted a nationwide survey. Methods: For the first survey, we sent survey sheets to randomly selected medical departments (n=7545) to obtain the number of LEMS who visited medical departments between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017. For the second survey, we sent survey sheets to the corresponding medical departments to obtain clinical information on LEMS. Results: We received 2708 responses (recovery rate: 35.9%) to the first survey. We estimated the number of LEMS as 348 (95% CI 247 to 449). The prevalence was 2.7 (95% CI 1.9 to 3.5) in 1 000 000 population. As a result of the second survey, we obtained 30 case records of 16 men and 14 women. Fourteen patients (46.7%) had a tumour, and 10 out of 14 tumours were small-cell lung carcinoma (71.4%). There was a predominance of men in the LEMS with tumour (paraneoplastic LEMS, P-LEMS) (n=11, 78.6%) and women in the LEMS without tumour (a primary autoimmune form of LEMS, AI-LEMS) (n=11, 68.8%) (p=0.0136). The onset age (mean (SD)) for the P-LEMS was 67.1 (9.0), and that for AI-LEMS was 57.8 (11.2) years old (p=0.0103). The disease duration (median) for P-LEMS was 2 years, and for AI-LEMS was 7.5 years (p=0.0134). Conclusions: The prevalence of LEMS in Japan is similar to that in other countries. There are predominances of men in P-LEMS and women in AI-LEMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000291
JournalBMJ Neurology Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 5 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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