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Case Reports in Radiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 5789321, 4 pages
Case Report

Thymic Epidermoid Cyst: Clinical and Imaging Manifestations of This Rare Anterior Mediastinal Mass

1Department of Radiology, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
3Department of Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
4Department of Pathology, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Received 6 June 2016; Accepted 18 August 2016

Academic Editor: Amit Agrawal

Copyright © 2016 Jawad M. Qureshi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thymic epidermoid cysts are an extremely rare entity. These arise from epidermal cells that migrate to the thymus. The radiologic diagnosis of this rare lesion is challenging. We describe a case of an otherwise healthy 35-year-old woman who presented with an acute onset of chest pain and shortness of breath. She was found to have an anterior mediastinal mass. The imaging findings were, however, not characteristic for any single diagnostic entity. Since the imaging was inconclusive, surgical resection was performed for definitive diagnosis. The mass was found to be a thymic epidermoid cyst. This case underlines the significance for radiologists to be aware that epidermoid cysts can occur in the thymus and should be considered in the differential diagnosis for a heterogeneous anterior mediastinal mass.