Scientific Journal

Scientific Journal of the Hellenic Companion Animal Veterinary Society (HCAVS)


Thymoma in feline patients: imaging findings

Roumelioti S. DVM, ISVPS GpCert (US), Alphavet, Athens
Skrekas C. DVM, Alphavet, Athens
Chrysanthakopoulou F. DVM, Alphavet, Athens
Tsioli V. DVM, PhD, Associate Professor, Surgical Clinic, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, Vets4life, Athens
Matralis D. DVM, PhD, ESAVS IM-Oncology, Vets4life, Athens
Panopoulos I. DVM, PhD, Dip.ECVDI, EBVS Specialist, Alphavet, Athens


Feline thymoma is a neoplastic disease that occurs mainly in geriatric patients, usually located in the cranial mediastinum. Computed tomography/angiography is a basic diagnostic tool for pre-operative surgical planning.

Clinical case

A 17-year-old, spayed, DSH, female cat was referred for a CT scan with a history of progressive respiratory distress. During clinical examination, abdominal breathing, tachypnea and muffled heart sounds were observed. Complete blood count and serum biochemical tests were within normal limits. A thoracic ultrasonography revealed a cystic mediastinal mass.


CT angiography revealed a space-occupying mass in the ventral mediastinal space, with maximum dimensions of about 13 x 5.8 x 4.5 cm, regional pressure phenomenon, and with no indication of intraluminal vascular invasion. The differential diagnosis included neoplasia, inflammatory/granulomatous lesion, or benign cyst/hematoma. The mass may be originated from the thymus, the lymph nodes, and ectopic thyroid tissue. Surgical excision of the mass was performed and the diagnosis of thymoma was confirmed histopathologically. An ultrasonographic reassessment two months postoperatively did not show any recurrence.


Thymoma in cats is a rare, slowly developing neoplasia. CT angiography can detect and describe the borders of a mediastinal mass and evaluate the regional vascular invasion, criteria that are important for the surgical planning.


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