Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
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. Thymic contour is variable. Because the thymus is a soft organ, overlying ribs may indent it, causing a "wave" sign. The right lobe of the thymus can insinuate into the minor fissure, causing a "sail" sign.
See References Chapter.
Section Top | Title Page
Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.
All contents copyright © 1992-2013 Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and the authors. All rights reserved.
"Virtual Pediatric Hospital", the Virtual Pediatric Hospital logo, and "A digital library of pediatric information" are all Trademarks of Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Virtual Pediatric Hospital is funded in whole by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.
Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.
The information contained in Virtual Pediatric Hospital is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: