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Normal Thymus
Arthur B. Meyers, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      TERMINOLOGY

      • Synonyms

        • Thymic sail sign
      • Definitions

        • Normal organ of anterior superior mediastinum that appears prominent in many young children
          • Involved in production of T cells
        • Thymos is Greek for warty excrescence

      IMAGING

      • General Features

        • Radiographic Findings

          • Fluoroscopic Findings

            • Ultrasonographic Findings

              • CT Findings

                • MR Findings

                  • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                    • Imaging Recommendations

                      DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                        PATHOLOGY

                        • General Features

                          • Microscopic Features

                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                            • Presentation

                              • Demographics

                                DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                • Consider

                                  Selected References

                                  1. Priola AM et al: Diagnostic and functional imaging of thymic and mediastinal involvement in lymphoproliferative disorders. Clin Imaging. 38(6):771-84, 2014
                                  2. Sams CM et al: Imaging of the pediatric thymus and thymic disorders. In Garcia-Peña P and Guillerman RP: Pediatric Chest Imaging, 3rd ed. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 327-348, 2014
                                  3. Abdel Razek AA et al: Apparent diffusion coefficient values of mediastinal masses in children. Eur J Radiol. 81(6):1311-4, 2012
                                  4. Gawande RS et al: Differentiation of normal thymus from anterior mediastinal lymphoma and lymphoma recurrence at pediatric PET/CT. Radiology. 262(2):613-22, 2012
                                  5. Costa NS et al: Superior cervical extension of the thymus: a normal finding that should not be mistaken for a mass. Radiology. 256(1):238-42, 2010
                                  6. Nasseri F et al: Clinical and radiologic review of the normal and abnormal thymus: pearls and pitfalls. Radiographics. 30(2):413-28, 2010
                                  7. Takahashi K et al: Characterization of the normal and hyperplastic thymus on chemical-shift MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 180(5):1265-9, 2003
                                  8. Han BK et al: Thymic ultrasound. I. Intrathymic anatomy in infants. Pediatr Radiol. 31(7):474-9, 2001
                                  9. Han BK et al: Thymic ultrasound. II. Diagnosis of aberrant cervical thymus. Pediatr Radiol. 31(7):480-7, 2001
                                  10. Mendelson DS: Imaging of the thymus. Chest Surg Clin N Am. 11(2):269-93, x, 2001
                                  11. Sklair-Levy M et al: Age-related changes in CT attenuation of the thymus in children. Pediatr Radiol. 30(8):566-9, 2000
                                  12. Hasselbalch H et al: Thymus size in infants from birth until 24 months of age evaluated by ultrasound. A longitudinal prediction model for the thymic index. Acta Radiol. 40(1):41-4, 1999
                                  13. Jacobs MT et al: The right place at the wrong time: historical perspective of the relation of the thymus gland and pediatric radiology. Radiology. 210(1):11-6, 1999
                                  14. Molina PL et al: Thymic masses on MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 155(3):495-500, 1990
                                  15. Siegel MJ et al: Normal and abnormal thymus in childhood: MR imaging. Radiology. 172(2):367-71, 1989
                                  16. St Amour TE et al: CT appearances of the normal and abnormal thymus in childhood. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 11(4):645-50, 1987
                                  Related Anatomy
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                                  Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                  References
                                  Tables

                                  Tables

                                  KEY FACTS

                                  • Terminology

                                    • Imaging

                                      TERMINOLOGY

                                      • Synonyms

                                        • Thymic sail sign
                                      • Definitions

                                        • Normal organ of anterior superior mediastinum that appears prominent in many young children
                                          • Involved in production of T cells
                                        • Thymos is Greek for warty excrescence

                                      IMAGING

                                      • General Features

                                        • Radiographic Findings

                                          • Fluoroscopic Findings

                                            • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                              • CT Findings

                                                • MR Findings

                                                  • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                    • Imaging Recommendations

                                                      DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                        PATHOLOGY

                                                        • General Features

                                                          • Microscopic Features

                                                            CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                            • Presentation

                                                              • Demographics

                                                                DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                • Consider

                                                                  Selected References

                                                                  1. Priola AM et al: Diagnostic and functional imaging of thymic and mediastinal involvement in lymphoproliferative disorders. Clin Imaging. 38(6):771-84, 2014
                                                                  2. Sams CM et al: Imaging of the pediatric thymus and thymic disorders. In Garcia-Peña P and Guillerman RP: Pediatric Chest Imaging, 3rd ed. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 327-348, 2014
                                                                  3. Abdel Razek AA et al: Apparent diffusion coefficient values of mediastinal masses in children. Eur J Radiol. 81(6):1311-4, 2012
                                                                  4. Gawande RS et al: Differentiation of normal thymus from anterior mediastinal lymphoma and lymphoma recurrence at pediatric PET/CT. Radiology. 262(2):613-22, 2012
                                                                  5. Costa NS et al: Superior cervical extension of the thymus: a normal finding that should not be mistaken for a mass. Radiology. 256(1):238-42, 2010
                                                                  6. Nasseri F et al: Clinical and radiologic review of the normal and abnormal thymus: pearls and pitfalls. Radiographics. 30(2):413-28, 2010
                                                                  7. Takahashi K et al: Characterization of the normal and hyperplastic thymus on chemical-shift MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 180(5):1265-9, 2003
                                                                  8. Han BK et al: Thymic ultrasound. I. Intrathymic anatomy in infants. Pediatr Radiol. 31(7):474-9, 2001
                                                                  9. Han BK et al: Thymic ultrasound. II. Diagnosis of aberrant cervical thymus. Pediatr Radiol. 31(7):480-7, 2001
                                                                  10. Mendelson DS: Imaging of the thymus. Chest Surg Clin N Am. 11(2):269-93, x, 2001
                                                                  11. Sklair-Levy M et al: Age-related changes in CT attenuation of the thymus in children. Pediatr Radiol. 30(8):566-9, 2000
                                                                  12. Hasselbalch H et al: Thymus size in infants from birth until 24 months of age evaluated by ultrasound. A longitudinal prediction model for the thymic index. Acta Radiol. 40(1):41-4, 1999
                                                                  13. Jacobs MT et al: The right place at the wrong time: historical perspective of the relation of the thymus gland and pediatric radiology. Radiology. 210(1):11-6, 1999
                                                                  14. Molina PL et al: Thymic masses on MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 155(3):495-500, 1990
                                                                  15. Siegel MJ et al: Normal and abnormal thymus in childhood: MR imaging. Radiology. 172(2):367-71, 1989
                                                                  16. St Amour TE et al: CT appearances of the normal and abnormal thymus in childhood. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 11(4):645-50, 1987