Background: Thymolipoma is a rare benign tumour of the mediastinum, accounting for 2%–9% of all thymic tumours. Although many case reports have been published in the literature, few studies have analysed the clinical and radiological features and the surgical outcomes of this tumour.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical and radiological features and the surgical outcomes of the patients with thymolipoma.
Methods: We reviewed the records of the Pathology Department from the beginning of 2005 to the end of 2013.
Results: We identified 11 patients with thymolipoma. There were eight male and three female patients. Their ages ranged from 27 to 72 years, with the mean age of 40 years. All patients described pulmonary or extrapulmonary symptoms. Two patients (18.2%) had myasthenia gravis. Chest X-ray was normal in four patients. Computed tomography of the thorax revealed a mass located in the anterior mediastinum in all patients. It showed fat attenuation in 4 of 11 patients (36.4%). Thymectomy was performed in all patients. The surgical approach was thoracotomy in five, sternotomy in four and video-assisted thoracic surgery in two patients. Thymolipomas ranged in size from 4 to 33 cm. One patient died 2 years after surgery. None of the remaining patients had evidence of recurrence on follow-up.
Conclusion: Thymolipoma is a rare tumour of the thymus. It may be associated with myasthenia gravis. Surgical resection is the treatment of choice in the patients with thymolipoma. Complete surgical resection is the cure in most patients.