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Ectopic thymic tissue in the paediatric age group

Authors

  • W. C. W. Chu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Organ Imaging, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
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  • C. Metreweli

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Organ Imaging, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
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Correspondence:Winnie C. W. Chu, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Organ Imaging, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.
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Abstract

Purpose: The presence of ectopic thymic tissue is well known along the embryological descent track in the neck. The aim of this study was to detect the frequency of cervical thymic rests in children.

Material and Methods: Eighteen consecutive children had neck US performed using an ATL 5000 unit with a 12.5 MHz liner probe. The presence of small rests of thymic tissue was sought.

Results: 61% of the children had thymic tissue detected in the neck. Out of those with positive findings, 82% had a thymic rest on the right side, 9% on the left side and 9% had thymic rests bilaterally.

Conclusion: Small rests of ectopic thymic tissue in the cervical region are commonly seen in the paediatric age group. It is important to identify the thymic rests for what they are and avoid unnecessary anxiety or intervention.

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