Thymoma with pseudosarcomatous stroma

T. W. Noh, S. H. Kim, B. J. Lim, W. I. Yang, K. Y. Chung

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Thymoma with psuedosarcomatous stroma is a recently described, rare variant of thymomas that are characterized by having a biphasic histologic pattern which consists of both an epithelial and a spindle cell stromal component. So far only 11 cases having similar histologic findings have been reported worldwide. At this time we report a case of this rare variant of thymoma which occurred in a 53-year-old Korean man. This previously healthy patient presented with coughing and an anterior mediastinal mass was then detected radiographically. Mediastinal exploration revealed a 9 × 8 × 8 cm-sized well-encapsulated, ovoid, cystic mass. Histological examination showed a biphasic neoplasm composed of anastomosing nests of epithelial cells and somewhat cellular stromal spindle cells that had advanced degenerative changes. Immunohistochemical staining using the antibodies for cytokeratins, EMA, e-cadherin, and p75NGFR showed a strong expression of these markers in the epithelial component but no expression in the spindle stromal cells. The epithelial tumor cells showed no reactivity to CD5 and L26 and a high proportion of the infiltrated lymphocytes were the cortical type that expressed CD99 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase. Ultrastructural examinations revealed tonofilaments in the spindle cells. Follow up has been done for 5 years after the surgical excision and the patient has been free of disease during that period. Similar to previous reports, this patient had a benign clinical course that was unassociated with myasthenia gravis which appears to be a characteristic of this histologic variant of thymoma. However, our case also showed advanced degenerative features and we could demonstrate ultrastructural evidence of epithelial differentiation in the stromal spindle cells that were not mentioned in the previously reported cases. Based on the results of our studies, we suggest this entity is a distinct type of organotypic thymoma that shows cortical differentiation and abundant cellular stroma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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