Since the original description of thymic death in an infant 400 years ago, the thymus has been recognized as an important structure to practitioners caring for infants and children. The source of many cysts, masses, and tumors in the neck and mediastinum, the thymus gland merits the pediatric surgeon's attention. The thymus is clearly an important lymphoid organ, the removal of which may be therapeutic in MG, but congenital absence leads to profound cell-mediated immunodeficiency. The immunologic sequelae of its neonatal extirpation remains obscure. It is apparent that further research is needed to clarify the functional role of the thymus gland in the developing immune system. Until better elucidated, a conservative approach to neonatal thymectomy may be justified.
|Number of pages
|Chest Surgery Clinics of North America
|Published - 2001