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Chirurg. 1997 Feb;68(2):136-40.

[Surgical therapy of neuroendocrine tumors of the thymus].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Allgemein und Unfallchirurgie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf.


Neuroendocrine tumors of the thymus, also known as thymic carcinoids, are rare tumors of the anterior mediastinum. They occur sporadically or in association with MEN I syndrome. We present five patients (four male, one female; age of first manifestation 19-53 years) who were operated on at our hospital between 1984 and 1995 for neuroendocrine thymic tumors. A hormone-producing tumor presented with Cushing's syndrome in two patients. Two patients had MEN I syndrome. Only in the female patient the primary tumor was confined to the thymus. We found lymph node metastases in three patients and a distant metastasis in one. The neuroendocrine tumors have a high rate of local recurrences and thus we performed 11 operations using a transthoracic or transsternal approach. Since there was no operative mortality and adjuvant therapies are of limited value, we recommend surgery even in case of recurrence.

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