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CT differential diagnosis of invasive and noninvasive thymoma

LI Chun ping,ZHOU Hua zao,GONG Guang he,et al.Department of Radiology,Affilliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College,Sichuan 637000,P.R.China  
Objective:The purpose of the study was to evaluate the CT features of thymoma and study the manifestations in differentiating invasive from noninvasive thymoma.Methods:The CT scans from 29 cases with invasive thymoma and 24 cases with noninvasive were independently assessed by two radiologist without knowledge of their history.Reliability of CT diagnosis to differentiate invasive thymoma from noninvasive thymoma was analysed and the CT diagnosis was correlated with pathologic findings.Results:Invasive thymoma was more likely to have lobulation (21/29,72%) than noninvasive thymoma (7/24,29%, P 0.05).Invasive thymoma had a higher prevalence of low attenuation areas within the tumor (23/29, 79%) than noninvasive thymoma (6/24,23%, P 0.01).Invasive thymoma had more marked enhancement than noninvasive thymoma.Conclusion:The presence of lobulation,cyst formation or necrosis,increase of CT value more than 20HU after contrast enhancement,and mediastinal fat obliteration are suggestive of invasive thymoma.
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