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Pathol Res Pract. 2004;200(7-8):567-73.

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the thymus: a case presentation and a literature review.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece.


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the thymus is an unusual, but well-recognized variant of thymic malignant tumors. Its biologic behavior generally depends on the degree of differentiation and the amount of cellular atypia. High grade tumors can be aggressive neoplasms with a tendency to invade and develop metastases. We report on a case of a 53-year-old man, who presented chest discomfort, dyspnea, and weakness. As heart function tests were normal, the patient underwent radiologic examination, which showed a well-demarcated mass in the anterior mediastinum. Histologic examination of the surgically resected mass showed features of a mucoepidermoid carcinoma with associated infiltration of the pleural tissue. Postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy were performed, and the patient died two months after initial diagnosis. In case of the absence of metastatic disease or other common primary neoplasms of the thymus, the diagnosis of a mucoepidermoid thymic carcinoma should be taken into consideration, although this tumor is rare.

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