A female patient with a three year history of Crohn's disease of the colon developed myasthenia gravis. Despite diversion of the faecal stream by an ileostomy, and total colectomy, the patient had continuing problems with perineal and perianal abscesses and fistulas. Her myasthenia gravis became unresponsive to anti-cholinergics so a thymectomy was performed. The perineal and perianal disease improved subsequently. This case supports the theory that functional disturbances of the thymus may have a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.
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