Athouba Arambam1, Shikha Ngairangbam2
In 1970s, presence of thymic tissue in anterior mediastinal adipose tissue around the thymus was found. Here we report a case of ectopic thymic tissue in the mediastinum and the possible relevance of this distribution of thymic tissue outside thymus to the therapeutic yield of thymectomies in myasthenia gravis. A 30-year lady with myasthenia gravis (nonthymomatous) presented with difficulty in swallowing and breathing for the last 1 years. She was under medical treatment but with little improvement. She underwent extended thymectomy, after which an en bloc resection of the anterior mediastinal fat tissues from pericardium and pleura, including the thymus, was performed. Grossly the soft tissue specimen taken from near left lateral area of heart was fibrofatty tissue. Microscopically isolated thymic tissues were seen interspersed among the fatty tissues composed of mature lymphocytes, epithelial cells and few Hassall's corpuscles were observed. Thymus specimen was within normal histological limits. To ensure complete removal, the adipose tissue at the anterior mediastinum as well as the gross thymus should be removed. Thymic tissue incidence in individual locations was as follows: Retrothyroid, 3(6%); peritracheal, 5 (10%); retrotracheal, 1 (2%); right phrenic nerve, 2 (4%); left phrenic nerve, 14 (28%); right recurrent laryngeal nerve, 2 (4%); left recurrent laryngeal nerve, 2 (4%) and periaortic, 0. Trans-sternal thymectomy was found to be beneficial to all patients of mild-to-moderate myasthenia gravis with 70.2% patients showing improvement postoperatively.