Enlargement of the thymus and thymus tumors occur mainly during the first years of life and childhood; though they may attain an extremely large size,1 they are seldom the cause of sudden death. In large series of autopsies performed because of sudden and unexplained natural death in childhood an enlarged thymus or thymic tumors were not found to be causal factors.2-4 In the few such cases reported, the enlarged thymus encroached upon and compressed the trachea5,6 and/or one or both atria.6 Beyond the age of childhood, enlargement of the thymus leading to sudden death seems to be even more unusual. The present report describes the sudden death of a young boy because of bleeding into a formerly asymptomatic thymoma, apparently causing expansion of the tumor with subsequent pressure on the right atrium.
Report of a Case
A Bulgarian boy, aged 15 years, mechanic apprentice, was brought
ATSMON A, PINKHAS J, DJALDETTI M. Sudden Death Caused by Pressure of a Thymoma on the Right Atrium. Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(3):295-298. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620210019005