Thymus

  • Located in the anterosuperior mediastinum.
  • Site of T-cell differentiation and maturation.
  • Encapsulated.
  • Thymus is derived from the Third pharyngeal pouch.
  • Lymphocytes of mesenchymal origin.
  • Cortex is dense with immature T cells; medulla is pale with mature T cells and Hassall corpuscles (A) containing epithelial reticular cells.
  • Normal neonatal thymus “sail-shaped” on CXR (B), involutes with age.
  • T cells = Thymus
  • B cells = Bone marrow
  • Hypoplastic in DiGeorge syndrome and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
  • Thymoma—neoplasm of thymus. Associated with myasthenia gravis, superior vena cava syndrome and pure red cell aplasia.

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