Pathology of the Pleura and Mediastinum

2018 Edition
| Editors: Timothy Craig Allen, Saul Suster


  • David SusterEmail author
  • Paul VanderLaan
Reference work entry


Thymoma type A: Medullary thymoma; Spindle cell thymoma

Thymoma type AB: Mixed thymoma

Thymoma type B1: Lymphocyte-rich thymoma; Lymphocytic thymoma; Organoid thymoma

Thymoma type B2: Cortical thymoma; Epithelial thymoma; Lymphocytic thymoma


Thymomas are neoplasms arising from thymic epithelial cells with variable numbers of associated lymphocytes. They are rare tumors with annual incidence of approximately 1–5 per million population and tend to occur in the anterior mediastinum. They are predominantly a neoplasm of adulthood with all types usually occurring between 55 and 65 years of age. Although thymomas are exceedingly rare in children, they have been reported to occur in ages spanning 7–90 years old. The etiology remains unclear although an association with MEN1 has been reported. CT scan and MRI are the radiographic modalities of choice for imaging thymic masses; thymomas tend to appear as lobulated masses/shadows that can have calcifications and cystic...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Kim, D. J. (2005). Prognostic and clinical relevance of the World Health Organization Schema for the classification of thymic epithelial tumors: A clinicopathologic study of 108 patients and literature review. Chest, 127(3), 755–761. Print.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Masaoka, A., Monden, Y., Nakahara, K., & Tanioka, T. (1981). Follow-up study of thymomas with special reference to their clinical stages. Cancer, 48(11), 2485–2492.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Moran, C. A., Weissferdt, A., Kalhor, N., Solis, L. M., Behrens, C., Wistuba, I. I., & Suster, S. (2012). Thymomas I: A clinicopathologic correlation of 250 cases with emphasis on the World Health Organization Schema. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 137(3), 444–450.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Suster, S., & Moran, C. A. (2008). Histologic classification of thymoma: The world health organization and beyond. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America: 22(3):381–392.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Travis, W. D., Brambilla, E., Burke A. P., Marx A., & Nicholson A.G. (Eds.). (2015). WHO classification of tumours of the lung, pleura, thymus and heart. Lyon: IARC Press. 4th ed.Google Scholar
  6. Weidner, N., Cote, R., Suster, S., & Weiss, L. (Eds.). (2009). Modern surgical pathology (second ed., Vol. 1, pp. 454–516). Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA