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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2006 February;47(1):89-93


language: English

Thymomas: clinical-pathological correlations

Lucchi M., Basolo F., Ribechini A., Ambrogi M. C., Bencivelli S., Fontanini G., Angeletti C. A., Mussi A.

1 Unit of Thoracic Surgery Cardiac and Thoracic Department University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy 2 Unit of Pathology Department of Oncology University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


Aim. Since World Health Organization (WHO) histologic typing of tumors of the thymus publication in 1999 only a few studies correlated this classification with the clinical features of the patients. We present the results of a retrospective analysis on patients, operated on for a thymoma, whose specimens were available, to compare the WHO thymoma histologic classification to the clinical behavior of the tumors.
Methods. The specimens of 69 patients, who underwent surgical treatment between 1983 and 1998, were analyzed, comparing the clinical features of the patients and the hystological typing of the neoplasm, according to the WHO classification. A survival analysis of clinical and pathological prognostic factors was carried out.
Results. The incidence of thymus-related syndrome was related to the histological subtype and increases progressively from A to B3, while in C subtype the incidence was nihl. With a mean follow-up of 108 months (range 54-239 months), we experienced 6 intrathoracic recurrencies, 3 of those were intrapleuric and 3 mediastinal. At the last follow-up, 52 patients were alive; 1 with disease. Five deaths were related to the tumor (2 mediastinal and 3 intrapleuric relapses). Actuarial five-year and ten-year survival was 95% and 88.9%. Because of the absence of deaths related to thymomas in most samples it was not possible to perform a comparison among different histological types and different clinical stages.
Conclusion. The WHO histologic classification seems to correlate with the incidence of thymus related syndromes and the clinical stage of Masaoka. Despite the higher incidence of recurrences in type B3 and C thymoma the WHO classification did not prove to be a prognostic factor.

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