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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Normal Neonatal Chest, Prominent Thymus Paediapaedia: Neonatal Chest Diseases

Normal Neonatal Chest, Prominent Thymus

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Clinical Presentation:
Not applicable

Etiology/Pathophysiology:
Not applicable

Pathology:
Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
The thymus is a thin, bilobed organ located in the superior mediastinum that has a variable size and shape. The thymus lies anteriorly in relationship to the heart and great vessels. The relative size of the thymus increases with expiration and decreases with inspiration. The thymus decreases in size during periods of stress, such as during sepsis. Occasionally the thymus may extend inferiorly to the level of the diaphragm. icon gif Thymic contour is variable. Because the thymus is a soft organ, overlying ribs may indent it, causing a "wave" sign. icon gif The right lobe of the thymus can insinuate into the minor fissure, causing a "sail" sign. icon gif

DDX:

References:
See References Chapter.

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