Thymoma: A clinicopathologic study based on the new World Health Organization classification

Kazuo Nakagawa, Hisao Asamura, Yoshihiro Matsuno, Kenji Suzuki, Haruhiko Kondo, Arafumi Maeshima, Etsuo Miyaoka, Ryosuke Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study explored the relationship between the histologic subtype of thymoma according to the new World Health Organization histologic classification and the clinical findings, as well as the prognostic significance of the classification. Methods: A total of 130 patients with thymoma, who underwent resection at the National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, from 1962 to 2000, were studied retrospectively. The histologic subtype of thymoma was determined according to the new World Health Organization histologic classification. The stage was also determined according to a modified Masaoka's classification as stage I, II, III, IVa, or IVb. To determine the factors that may affect the prognosis of thymoma, a multivariate analysis with Cox's proportional hazards regression model was performed. Results: The distribution of histologic subtype was type A (n = 18), type AB (n = 56), type B1 (n = 15), type B2 (n = 29), and type B3 (n = 12). A close correlation was seen between the histologic subtype and stage (P = .000). The overall survivals at 5 and 10 years were 92% and 91%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year survivals according to stage were 100% and 100% (stage I, n = 40; stage II, n = 54), 81% and 76% (stage III, n = 25), and 47% and 47% (stage IV, n = 11), respectively. The difference in survival between stage III and stage IV was significant (P = .000). Patients with type A or AB thymoma demonstrated a 100% survival at both 5 and 10 years. Recurrences were seen in 12 patients with complete resection. According to a multivariate analysis, tumor size (P = .001), completeness of resection (P = .002), histologic subtype (P = .011), and stage (P = .00) were significant prognostic factors. Conclusion: The World Health Organization histologic classification significantly correlated with the clinical stage. Tumor size, completeness of resection, histologic subtype, and stage predicted the prognosis of thymoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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