What is the anatomy of the thymus gland relevant to thymoma?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Kendrix J Evans, MD, MS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The thymus gland is located behind the sternum, in front of the great vessels and the pericardium; it can extend laterally to the phrenic nerves (see the images below). The main blood supply is from the internal thoracic arteries; however, the gland also is supplied with blood by the inferior thyroid and pericardiophrenic arteries.

Anatomy of thymus, with emphasis on blood supply a Anatomy of thymus, with emphasis on blood supply and relation to recurrent laryngeal and phrenic nerves.
Lateral view of thymus. Thymic arteries are derive Lateral view of thymus. Thymic arteries are derived from adjacent internal mammary arteries; inferior thymic vein empties into innominate vein. Thymus gland's surrounding vascular and neural structures may be invaded during spread of thymoma.

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