Primary Thymic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Mimicking a Teratoma: A Case Report


1 Service d’Anatomie Pathologique et de Neuropathologie, CHU Timone,

2 Service de Biopathologie, Institut Paoli Calmettes,

3 Service de Chirurgie Thoracique et des maladies de l’œsophage, Hôpital Sainte Marguerite, MARSEILLE – FRANCE


Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a malignant tumor usually located in the salivary glands. We report a case of primary adenoid cystic carcinoma of the thymus in a 37 year-old woman who was admitted for chronic cough and dyspnea. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the lung showed a cystic and solid anterior mediastinal mass compatible with a teratoma. The patient underwent surgical excision of the mediastinal tumor. Histological and immunophenotypic features were characteristic of adenoid cystic carcinoma. Adenoid cystic carcinoma must be differentiated from thymic teratoma. Clinical and radiographic examination should exclude a metastasis to the thymic region from an unusual site of involvement by an adenoid cystic carcinoma. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(1): 68-70)