Ectopic hamartomatous thymoma in an immunocompromised male

D. Waters, Farres Obeidin, Borislav A. Alexiev, M. Sambasiva Rao, Terrance D. Peabody, Mark Agulnik, Anjana Yeldandi

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Ectopic hamartomatous thymoma (EHT) is a rare benign neoplasm classically occurring in the lower neck of adult males. Here we present a case of EHT occurring in a 43-year-old immunocompromised male and a brief review of existing literature. The patient presented with a palpable mass overlying the left clavicle which, on imaging, showed a solitary nodule possibly eroding the cortical bone. A biopsy predominantly showed spindle cells that were immunopositive for keratin AE1/AE3 as well as weakly positive for CD99, SMA, and CD34. A diagnosis of synovial sarcoma was favored; at which point surgical resection was performed. The resected mass was well-demarcated with a tan-yellow cut surface. Microscopically, the lesion was composed of a mixture of spindle cells, glands, and mature adipose tissue. The spindle cells were plump with bland nuclei, and the epithelial component showed morphology similar to glands of salivary or breast tissue with a bilayered appearance (luminal and basal). No pleomorphism, mitotic figures, or necrosis was present. Immunohistochemical stains were performed and showed the spindle cells to express a myoepithelial phenotype (cytokeratin AE1/AE3, p63, calponin positive). The glands showed SMA and p63 positivity in the basal cells (similar to salivary gland and breast). Overall, given the clinical context, histomorphologic, and immunohistochemical profile, a diagnosis of EHT was made. At 12 months of follow-up there was no evidence of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152497
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Ectopic hamartomatous thymoma
  • Head and neck pathology
  • Immunocompromised
  • Soft tissue pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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