AIM: The purpose of the present study was to characterize the morphological features of thymoma metastases in lymph nodes and to evaluate the possibility of their subtyping according to the 2004 WHO classification of thymus tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed 210 thymoma cases in our series of thymic epithelial tumors (TET), including their recurrences and lymphogenous metastases. Three cases of lymph node metastases, one case occurring synchronously with the primary tumor and one synchronously with the first relapse (both in intrathoracic location) and one case of metastasis observed in a laterocervical lymph node subsequently to two thymoma relapses were found.
RESULTS: The metastatic nodes were variably but extensively involved in all cases. The histological features were similar in both primary tumors and metastases. Thymoma metastases were subtyped according to the WHO classification as B3 (one case) and B2 (two cases), and distinctive features in comparison to metastatic epithelial neoplasias from other sites were observed.
CONCLUSION: Thymoma lymph node metastases, although rare, can be subtyped according to the WHO classification on the basis of their morphological and immunohistochemical features. Clinically, the presence of nodal metastases may herald subsequent relapses and further metastases even in extrathoracic sites.