Nivolumab, a Double-Edged Sword: A Case Report of Nivolumab-Induced Myasthenia Gravis

Nayha Tahir, Anber Mahboob, Xuanzhen Piao, Grace Ying, Jishna Shrestha, Robin Sherchan, Farha Zahra


Nivolumab is a checkpoint inhibitor approved to treat various solid organs malignancies. Although checkpoint inhibitors are very efficacious, these medications are also associated with a variety of side effects that could be life-threatening. We present a case of nivolumab-induced myasthenia gravis in a patient with stage IV esophageal cancer, who was found to have generalized weakness, blurry vision, diplopia, and later developed acute hypoxic respiratory failure with subsequent intubation. The patient was treated with intravenous immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis, and later started on pyridostigmine and high-dose steroids with minimal improvement. Goals of care were discussed with the patient and family, and the decision was made to discharge the patient home with hospice care. Nivolumab-induced myasthenia gravis is very aggressive with a poor prognosis if not appropriately managed in time. Hence we strongly recommend a multidisciplinary approach, including neurologists, to monitor patients on nivolumab therapy to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with it.

J Med Cases. 2021;12(10):424-428


Nivolumab; Myasthenia gravis; Esophageal cancer; PD-L1 inhibitors

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.