Associations between computed tomography features of thymomas and their pathological classification

Yoshiyuki Ozawa, Masaki Hara, Masashi Shimohira, Keita Sakurai, Motoo Nakagawa, Yuta Shibamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background Thymoma exhibits a range of histological and biological features and their imaging findings varies. Purpose To evaluate the associations between CT findings of thymomas and their classification according to the Masaoka staging system and World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Material and Methods Eighty-four patients with thymoma were evaluated. Comparisons between the CT findings of Masaoka stage I/II and III/IV lesions, and the WHO type A-B1 (low risk) and B2/B3 (high risk) lesions were performed. Results Stage III/IV thymomas (mean size, 60 mm) were significantly larger than stage I/II (45 mm) lesions and had more irregular shape and contour. Necrosis and calcification were observed in 16 (59%) and nine (33%) stage III/IV thymomas, and 16 (28%) and seven (12%) stage I/II lesions, respectively. Regarding the WHO classification, the high-risk thymomas displayed irregular shape and contour more often than low-risk lesions. There were significant differences between the patterns of mediastinal invasion seen in high- and low-risk groups; 21 (68%) vs. six (12%) lesions demonstrated mediastinal fat invasion, seven (23%) vs. two (4%) lesions exhibited great vessel invasion, five (16%) vs. 0 (0%) lesions displayed pericardial invasion, and 18 (58%) vs. 10 (20%) lesions invaded the lungs, respectively. Conclusion Masaoka stage III/IV thymomas were larger in size, had more irregular shape and contour, and exhibited necrosis and calcification more often than the stage I/II lesions. In the WHO classification, high-risk thymomas demonstrated more irregular shape and contour than low-risk thymomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1325
Number of pages8
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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