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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Thymoma with an isolated splenic metastasis eight years after extended thymectomy: a case report

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Yuichi Aoki, Atsushi Miki, Tomoyuki Nakano, Hideki Sasanuma, Yasunaru Sakuma, Hisanaga Horie, Yoshinori Hosoya, Noriyoshi Fukushima, Alan Kawarai Lefor, Naohiro Sata



Thymomas are typically slow-growing tumors and AB type thymomas are considered no/low risk tumors with a better prognosis. Extra-thoracic metastases are extremely rare. To the best of our knowledge, no patient with an isolated splenic metastasis from a thymoma has been reported. We report a patient who underwent laparoscopic splenectomy for a slow-growing, isolated splenic metastasis, eight years after thymectomy.

Case presentation

The patient is a 78-year-old man. Eight years previously, the patient underwent extended thymectomy and postoperative radiation therapy for a thymoma. Five years after thymectomy, a nodule appeared in the spleen, and the lesion enlarged gradually for three years thereafter. The patient was referred for further examination and treatment. Computed tomography scan showed a sharply circumscribed 50 mm tumor slightly hypodense and heterogeneous lesion in the spleen. On T2-weighted images on Magnetic Resonance Imaging, the tumor had high intensity, equivalent to or slightly lower than that on T1-weighted images, and no decrease on diffusion-weighted images. The tumor was multinodular and showed a low-signal spoke-wheel sign in the margin, enhanced gradually in the dynamic study. Positron emission tomography-CT scan, showed relatively low accumulation. Surgical resection was undertaken, and pathological examination showed metastatic thymoma. The patient is without recurrence and has no other symptoms three years after splenectomy.


This is the first report of an isolated splenic metastasis from a thymoma. Further cases are needed to standardize this surgery for such lesions.
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