Large thymic carcinoma presenting with right ventricular failure: A case report

T. Saleem, S. Fatimi, U. Khalid

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Thymic carcinoma is an overall rare tumour with variable clinical manifestations. Right ventricular failure remains an uncommon occurrence and has not been reported in literature so far. A 40-year-old lady presented with the complaints of progressively worsening retrosternal chest pain, shortness of breath, easy fatigability and cough since 1 year. Computed tomography scan of the thorax revealed a mass measuring 12 × 10 cm in the anterior mediastinum. This mass appeared to be adherent to both lungs and pericardium and was impinging on the right atrium and right ventricle. It appeared to be infi ltrating the ascending aorta, pulmonary arteries and superior vena cava. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed hepatomegaly and moderate ascites. Echocardiography showed evidence of right ventricular dysfunction as well as elevated right ventricular systolic pressures secondary to extrinsic compression. Percutaneous biopsy of the thymus was performed showing a malignant thymoma. Radical thymectomy with resection of pericardium was planned. Intra-operatively, the tumour was separated from the right and left lungs, pulmonary artery and aortic arch. Morphologically, immunochemically and clinically, the features were consistent with those seen in Masoka stage III thymic carcinoma. She also received six cycles of chemotherapy (PAC regimen) including cisplatin (50 mg/2), doxorubicin (50 mg/m2) and cyclophosphamide (500 mg/m2). Radiation therapy in the adjuvant setting was planned but the patient was lost to follow-up after 4 months. Although right ventricular failure is a very rare presentation of thymic carcinoma, clinicians should be aware of this presentation to appreciate the complete clinical spectrum of presentation of this neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-314
Number of pages4
JournalActa Clinica Belgica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Masoka
  • Right ventricular failure
  • Thymic carcinoma


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