The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 4
Massive true thymic hyperplasia in a 3-month-old infant: case report and literature review
Min Yang 1 ,Lin Zeng 2 ,Yi Ji 1 ,Bo Xiang 1 ,Zhi-cheng Xu 1
1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the People’s Republic of China
2 President & Dean’s Office, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the People’s Republic of China
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.04.022 Background. True thymic hyperplasia (TTH) is characterized as a distinct increase in both size and weight of thymus, which retains normal microscopic and immunohistochemical appearances. Massive true thymic hyperplasia (MTTH) is an extremely rare but significant subtype of TTH in pediatric ages due to its potentially serious consequences. It was reported that the age of cases with MTTH was predominantly between 1 and 15 years, while those before 1 year rarely occurred. By presenting the diagnosis and treatment process of our case as well as reviewing the related literature, we aimed to analyze the clinical characteristics of MTTH for patients younger than 1 year.

Case. A 3-month-old male infant was admitted to our department with a chief complaint of gradually increasing polypnea over 9 days, whose preoperative imaging examination showed a large intrathoracic soft tissue shadow predominantly on the right side. The percutaneous fine-needle biopsy guided by ultrasonography was performed to identify its diagnosis. However, proliferating lymphocytes and Hassall`s corpuscles were seen microscopically in the biopsy tissues, which were immunohistochemically positive for CD3, CD19, CD20, CD99, TdT, PCK and Ki67 (>90%). Due to the aggravating symptoms, a second operation with total thymectomy was carried out successfully for this infant, which confirmed the diagnosis of TTH again by both morphological study and immunohistochemical staining from the surgical specimen.

Conclusions. By reviewing the literature, there were only 10 cases with MTTH reported between 1975 and 2020 for children aged <1 year of life, together with our present one. In MTTH patient`s sex had an obviously male predominance (70%). Nine out of 10 presented initial symptoms or signs related to respiratory system and 6 patients showed respiratory distress. All patients were successfully treated by surgical thymectomy without any postoperative complications. The prognosis of MTTH was very successful. Keywords : true thymic hyperplasia, massive true thymic hyperplasia, infant, biopsy, thymectomy

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