Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome
Other Names for this Disease
- Eaton Lambert syndrome
- Lambert Eaton syndrome
- Myasthenic syndrome of Lambert-Eaton
- Myasthenic-Myopathic syndrome of Lambert-Eaton
Your QuestionMy husband has Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. We read somewhere that this condition may be caused by an anesthetic. I'm now unable to locate that information. Is that true? If so, what anesthetic?
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Questions on this page
- What is Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome?
- What is the connection between Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome and anesthesia?
- What are the symptoms of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome?
- How might Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome be treated?
- What is the prognosis for individuals with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome?
Medications that act upon the transmission of impulses between nerve and muscle cells that may worsen symptoms of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, include muscle relaxants (e.g., succinylcholine) that may be used during anesthesia as well as the following drugs:
- Aminoglycosides antibiotics (e.g., vancomycin, gentamicin)
- Macrolides antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin, clarithromycin, or erythromycin)
- Iodinated contrast agents (used in Computed Tomography, plain X-ray and X-ray angiography)
- Calcium channel blockers
- Procainamide (e.g., Novocain)
Weakness or loss of movement that varies in severity:
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Difficulty lifting objects
- Need to use hands to arise from sitting or lying positions
- Difficulty talking
- Difficulty chewing
- Drooping head
- Swallowing difficulty, gagging, or choking
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Difficulty maintaining a steady gaze
Other symptoms may include blood pressure changes, dizziness upon rising, and dry mouth
3,4-diaminopyridine is available in Europe and may be available in the U.S. on a compassionate use basis. While there has been some evidence that either 3,4-diaminopyridine or IV immunoglobulin can improve muscle strength and nerve to muscle cell communication, the degree of benefit (i.e., how much symptoms are improved) still needs to be determined.
- NINDS Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome Information Page. Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 2007; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/lambert_eaton/lambert_eaton.htm. Accessed 10/28/2009.
- Bui PK, Kuczkowski KM, Moeller-Bertram T, Sanchez RA. New onset Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome as an unexpected cause of delayed recovery from general anesthesia after thyroidectomy. Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2004 Sep;
- Stevens RD. Neuromuscular disorders and anesthesia. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2001 Dec;
- Lambert-Eaton Syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000710.htm. Accessed 10/28/2009.