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July 1974

Acute Thymic Hemorrhage: An Unusual Cause of Respiratory Distress in Infancy

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Division of Hematology and the departments of medicine (Drs. Sieger, Higgins, and Van Adelsberg) and pathology (Dr. Isaacs), Children's Hospital of Los Angeles; and the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Sieger, Higgins, and Van Adelsberg) and pathology (Dr. Isaacs), University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(1):86-87. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110260088017

A 4½-week-old boy had acute onset of respiratory distress and anemia. A chest roentgenogram demonstrated a large anterior mediastinal mass. Laboratory studies and clinical course were consistent with nonconsumptive coagulopathy and acute blood loss. The coagulopathy was responsive to fresh frozen plasma and vitamin-K therapy. Thoracotomy disclosed an enlarged, hemorrhagic thymus, which was excised. This entirely relieved the respiratory distress. Microscopical examination showed hemorrhage into an otherwise normal thymus, a previously unreported phenomenon, to the authors' knowledge. The possible cause of the hemorrhage was late-onset hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.

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