Invasive and noninvasive thymoma: Distinctive CT features

Noriyuki Tomiyama, Nestor L. Müller, Samantha J. Ellis, Joanne R. Cleverley, Meinoshin Okumura, Shinichiro Miyoshi, Masahiko Kusumoto, Takeshi Johkoh, Shigeyuki Yoshida, Naoki Mihara, Osamu Honda, Takenori Kozuka, Seiki Hamada, Hironobu Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to evaluate the CT features of thymoma and to determine the most helpful findings in differentiating invasive from noninvasive thymoma. Method: The CT scans from 27 patients with invasive thymoma and 23 with noninvasive thymoma were independently assessed by two observers without knowledge of their invasiveness. The presence and distribution of various CT findings were independently analyzed. Results: Invasive thymomas were more likely to have lobulated (16/27, 59%) or irregular (6/27, 22%) contours than noninvasive thymomas (8/23, 35% and 1.5/23, 6%. respectively) (p < 0.05). Invasive thymomas had a higher prevalence of low attenuation areas within the tumor (16/27, 60%) than noninvasive thymomas (5/23, 22%) (p < 0.001) as well as foci of calcification (14.5/27, 54% vs. 6/23, 26%; p < 0.01). Conclusion: The presence of lobulated or irregular contour, areas of low attenuation, and multifocal calcification is suggestive of invasive thymoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Thymoma
  • Thymus neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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