Open Access Case report

Primary adenocarcinoma of the thymus: an immunohistochemical and molecular study with review of the literature

Maryam Maghbool1, Mani Ramzi2, Inga Nagel3, Pablo Bejarano4, Reiner Siebert3, Abolfazl Saeedzadeh1 and Yahya Daneshbod1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Pathology, Dr Daneshbod Pathology Laboratory, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Hematology- Oncology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Institute of Human Genetics, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel and University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany

4 Department of Pathology, JMH/University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Clinical Pathology 2013, 13:17  doi:10.1186/1472-6890-13-17

Published: 31 May 2013



Primary adenocarcinoma of thymus is extremely rare.

Case presentation

This is a case of primary adenocarcinoma with intestinal differentiation and focal mucin production in the thymus. Thymic cyst was associated with this tumor. Intestinal differentiation was confirmed by immunohistochemical stain with positivity for CDX-2, CK20, villin, MOC31 and focal positivity of CK7. Array comperative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis showed a complex pattern of chromosomal imbalances including homozygous deletion at the HLA locus in chromosomal region 6p21.32.


This rare tumor shows a similar genetic aberration with other studied thymic epithelial tumors.

Thymus gland; Primary adenocarcinoma; Intestinal differentiation; Thymic carcinoma; Thymoma; Molecular study; CGH array; Immunohistochemical study; Literature review