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Ectopic thymoma: Retrospective analysis of eight cases with clinical features and computed tomography findings

  • Qing Zhou
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Gansu, China

    Second Clinical School, Lanzhou University, China

    Key Laboratory of Medical Imaging of Gansu Province, China
    Search for articles by this author
  • Lei Han
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Gansu, China

    Second Clinical School, Lanzhou University, China

    Key Laboratory of Medical Imaging of Gansu Province, China
    Search for articles by this author
  • Xiaoai Ke
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Gansu, China

    Second Clinical School, Lanzhou University, China

    Key Laboratory of Medical Imaging of Gansu Province, China
    Search for articles by this author
  • Junlin Zhou
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Radiology, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Cuiyingmen No.82, Chengguan District, Lanzhou 730030, China.
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Gansu, China

    Key Laboratory of Medical Imaging of Gansu Province, China
    Search for articles by this author
Published:December 06, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2019.10.017

      Highlights

      • Ectopic thymoma is generally reported as a case.
      • Our search found that atrial ectopic thymoma has not been reported, and our report may be the world's first.
      • We collected 8 cases of ectopic thymoma at various, reviewed the literature, and described its epidemiology and CT findings.

      Abstract

      Objective

      To analyze the computed tomography (CT) and clinical features of ectopic thymoma, and to be familiar with the CT diagnosis of this disease.

      Materials and methods

      CT data, clinical data, and pathological data of eight cases of ectopic thymoma, confirmed by pathology from September 2013 to June 2019, were retrospectively analyzed.

      Results

      Eight cases of thymoma were diagnosed, which included three in mediastinum (one of B1 type, two of C type), two in pericardium (both of B3 type), one in lung (B1 type), one in pleura (AB type), and one in right atrium (B2 type). Among the eight cases, four were men and four were women, aged 36–70 years. The clinical manifestations were chest tightness, shortness of breath and cough, and one case of myasthenia gravis. Six of the 8 patients were misdiagnosed as lymphoma, solitary fibrous tumor, malignant teratoma by CT. CT showed the following: the long diameter of tumor was 4.2 cm–19.5 cm, the shape was elliptical or round, and one case of ectopic thymoma grew in the atrium. The density was homogeneous in two cases and heterogeneous in six cases. The boundary was clear in three cases and unclear in five cases. Among the eight cases, three showed pleural effusion, two showed pericardial effusion and three showed calcification.

      Conclusions

      Ectopic thymoma is rare and often misdiagnosed due to abnormal position. However, CT findings of ectopic thymoma are similar to those of the anterior superior mediastinal thymoma.

      Keywords

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