Thymolipoma is a benign tumor composed of normal thymus tissue and mature adipose tissue.
Half of the patients affected are asymptomatic, while the other half may present with symptoms attributable to mass effect, such as dyspnea, chest pain, coughing, hoarseness, and cyanosis. However, these tumors are often discovered incidentally by means of chest imaging done for unrelated causes.
Some patients may have associated myasthenia gravis.
CT and MRI scans show an anterior mediastinal mass and may highlight the presence of fat in the tumor.
Thymolipoma is a rare tumor accounting from 2% to 9% of all thymic tumors, with a reported incidence of 0.12/100,000 people.
It can occur in any age, although it is more discovered in the third or fourth decade of life.
No gender predilection.
It almost exclusively occurs in the anterior mediastinum.
Treatment is surgical resection.
Prognosis is excellent.
References and Further Reading
- Travis, W.D. et al. (2004). Tumours of the thymus. In Pathology and genetics of tumours of the lung, pleura, thymus and heart (pp. 145–247). IARC Press, Lyon.Google Scholar