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Does myasthenia gravis associated thymomas spread to other parts of body?

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Posted on Mon, 1 Jun 2015
Question: I was diagnosed with Miasthenia Gravis CT scan reveled tumor inside thymus gland & enlarged lymph node on gland. Upon removal the Dr. Said the Thymus gland and tissue was much larger than expected. The tumor was the size of his thumb & appeared to be encapsulated. He removed all thymus tissue from clavicles to upper gut! It has only been 3 days since removal & I can already feel a huge difference in all glands in neck armpits ect. What are the chances this has been there for many years & gone undiagnosed until now even tho I complained about all these glands for years? Also what are the chances that if tests reveal it was cancerous do you think it could have been spreading throughout the lymph all this time? Thank you in advance for any & all opinions & advice! XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Please find details below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. Myasthenia gravis is a disorder in which usually there is an antibody which develops against the acetylcholine receptors. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter and helps in muscle contractions due to activation of receptors. In myasthenia gravis the receptors are blocked by the antibodies. This is an autoimmune condition.

2. Thymus is an organ in the front upper chest which participates in the development of immune system. It is larger in children and slowly reduces in size in adults. Thymus has been seen to become slightly enlarged in 15 percent of myasthenia gravis patients and forms a thymoma.

3. Myasthenia gravis associated thymomas are of a particular cortical type and have the capacity to propagate the maturation of immature naive CD4 T cells and export mature naive T cells into the periphery. It is usually not cancerous enough to spread to other areas but requires histopathological evaluation. Your thymoma being encapsulated is classified as stage I disease and is most common. There are rare chances of recurrence and you might be suggested to get follow up CT scan done after 2 years or as suggested by your doctor. This is to make sure there is no recurrence. Aggressive treatment is required in case of invasive thymoma and your doctor will tell you if your test results suggest additional treatment.

4. The thymoma is probably closely related to your myasthenia gravis and as mentioned above 15 percent of myasthenia gravis patients will have a thymoma. Treatment is surgical excision.

5. Since the thymoma was instructing the lymph tissue elsewhere to behave in a certain way, its removal makes you feel the difference.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6783 Questions

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Does myasthenia gravis associated thymomas spread to other parts of body?

Brief Answer: Please find details below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. Myasthenia gravis is a disorder in which usually there is an antibody which develops against the acetylcholine receptors. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter and helps in muscle contractions due to activation of receptors. In myasthenia gravis the receptors are blocked by the antibodies. This is an autoimmune condition. 2. Thymus is an organ in the front upper chest which participates in the development of immune system. It is larger in children and slowly reduces in size in adults. Thymus has been seen to become slightly enlarged in 15 percent of myasthenia gravis patients and forms a thymoma. 3. Myasthenia gravis associated thymomas are of a particular cortical type and have the capacity to propagate the maturation of immature naive CD4 T cells and export mature naive T cells into the periphery. It is usually not cancerous enough to spread to other areas but requires histopathological evaluation. Your thymoma being encapsulated is classified as stage I disease and is most common. There are rare chances of recurrence and you might be suggested to get follow up CT scan done after 2 years or as suggested by your doctor. This is to make sure there is no recurrence. Aggressive treatment is required in case of invasive thymoma and your doctor will tell you if your test results suggest additional treatment. 4. The thymoma is probably closely related to your myasthenia gravis and as mentioned above 15 percent of myasthenia gravis patients will have a thymoma. Treatment is surgical excision. 5. Since the thymoma was instructing the lymph tissue elsewhere to behave in a certain way, its removal makes you feel the difference. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek