4410                LARGE THYMUS IN A CHILD


History of a 5 year old female congenital idiot who died at the conclusion of operation of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  At autopsy the trachea and bronchi were clear.  There were a few haemorrhagic spots on the surface of both lungs, suggesting asphyxia.  The thymus was unusually large.  Death was attributed to asphyxia caused by the thymus compressing the trachea when the head was allowed to fall back during operation.  Status thymico-lymphaticus was a condition described about 70 years ago characterised by enlargement of the thymus, lymphoid hyperplasia, hypoplasia of the aorta (in some cases), atrophy of the adrenals, and underdevelopment of the gonads.  These people were supposedly subject to sudden death from mild trauma and anaesthesia.  The theory has now been discarded and death is attributed to shock, asphyxia etc. and is in no way related to the thymus.

Last modified: Tuesday, 1 August 2017, 8:21 AM