Thymomas and mediastinal tumors





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Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis pseudoparalytica is an automimmune disease, which is characterized by a disturbance of neuromuscular transmission. Neuromuscular transmission is the transmission of a nerve signal to the muscle cell. In this process a transmitter substance, in this case acetylcholine, is released from the nerve end and binds at an own acetylcholine receptor of the muscle cell. The result is a muscle twitch, in other words a contraction of the muscle. In the case of myasthenia gravis pseudoparalytica there is an abnormal increase of muscular fatigability, that reminds of a paralysis, due to the disturbed neuromuscular transmission. This is also where the name comes from: myasthenia = muscular weakness, pseudo = false and paralytica = paralysis.


A thymoma is a tumor of the thymus. The thymus is a central organ of the lymphatic tissue and lies behind the sternum in the upper part of the thorax. Approx. three thirds of these tumors are benign and only one third is malignant. This pathology is called a malignant thymoma or a thymus carcinoma. Symptoms occur in these patients due to a pressure effect on neighboring organs, mainly on trachea and esophagus. Indications for a thymoma can already bee seen on an X-ray of the thorax. For the distinction between malignant and benign tumors always a tissue extraction and following its microscopic tissue examination are necessary. The therapy of choice is the surgical extraction of the tumor. In malignant thymomas, which in most cases grow very low, additionally a radiotherapy and chemotherapy are used.

Thymus carcinoma

This is a histological definition of a malignant thymoma.


A teratoma grows among others in the gonads. It is a so-called mixed growth consisting of different tissues.

Benign tumors

  • Fibromas
  • Lipomas
  • Adenomas
  • etc.

Diseases of the trachea

  • Stenoses
    • malignant
    • inflammatory
    • after tracheotomy/long-term ventilation
  • Tracheomalacia
  • Esophagotracheal fistulae

Diseases of the lymphatic nodes

  • Malignant diseases (lymphomas)
  • Infections (e.g. lymphatic nodes tuberculosis)

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