1. a generalized disorder of neuromuscular transmission caused by a defect in the release of acetylcholine quanta from the presynaptic nerve terminals; often associated with small cell carcinoma of the lung, particularly in elderly men with a long history of cigarette smoking. In contrast to myasthenia gravis, weakness tends to affect solely axial muscles, girdle muscles, and less often the limb muscles; autonomic disturbances, dry mouth and impotence, are common; the deep tendon reflexes are unelicitable; on motor conduction studies, responses on initial stimulation are quite low in amplitude, but they show marked posttetanic facilitation after a few seconds of exercise. Lambert-Eaton syndrome is due to loss of voltage-sensitive calcium channels located on the presynaptic motor nerve terminal.
See: myasthenic syndrome
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary © Wolters Kluwer Health. All rights reserved.