We examined the clinical and functional significance of histologic classification of thymic epithelial neoplasms proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on an analysis of 146 consecutive tumors derived from 141 patients and 47 normal thymuses derived from children ranging in age from 1 to 9 years. Invasive tumors were seen in 12.5%, 38.6%, 40.0%, 69.4%, 80.0%, and 100% of type A, AB, B1, B2, B3, and C primary tumors, respectively. All of six recurrent or metastatic lesions were type B2 tumors. Myasthenia gravis was associated in 0%, 6.8%, 40.0%, 55.6%, 10.0%, and 0% in patients with type A, AB, B1, B2, B3, and C tumors, respectively. The average number (xl06) of tumor-associated CD4+CD8+ cells present in 1 g of tumor tissue was 1.5, 391.1, 1041.7, 333.9, 24.5, and 0.2 in type A, AB, B1, B2, B3, and C, respectively, and it was 1168.2 in the normal thymuses. Thus, type B1 tumor retained the function to induce CD4+CD8+ double-positive cells at a level comparable to that of the normal thymic cortical epithelial cells, followed by type AB and type B2 tumors. Type A and B3 tumors had this function at a barely detectable level, and type C tumor was nonfunctional. WHO histologic classification was shown to reflect the clinical features and the T-cell-inducing function of thymic epithelial tumors.
- CD4CD8 cells
- Myasthenia gravis
- Thymic carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine