Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Pediatric Radiology - Original Article
Normative values of thymus in healthy children; stiffness by shear wave elastography

Normative values of thymus in healthy children; stiffness by shear wave elastography

1.

Department of Pediatric Radiology, İstanbul University, İstanbul School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

2.

Department of Pediatric Radiology, Selçuk University School of Medicine, Konya, Turkey

3.

Clinic of Pediatric Radiology, Seyhan State Hospital, Adana, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26: 147-152
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2019.19344
Read: 228 Downloads: 69 Published: 13 December 2019

PURPOSE

Thymus grows after birth, reaches maximal size after the first few years and involutes by puberty. Because of the postnatal developmental and involutional duration, we aimed to investigate normal stiffness values of mediastinal thymus by shear wave elastography (SWE) in different age groups of children and discuss imaging findings of thymus.

 

METHODS

We prospectively examined 146 children (90 girls, 56 boys) who underwent a thyroid or neck ultrasound examination. All subjects underwent ultrasound and SWE evaluation of mediastinal thymus by parasternal and suprasternal approach. We grouped the subjects based on age as 0 to 2 months, >2 to 6 months, >6 months to 2 years, >2 to 5 years, >5 to 8 years, and greater than 8 years old. We investigated differences of mean shear wave elasticity (kPa) and shear wave velocity (m/s) values among age groups and the association of SWE values with age, body mass index (BMI), height, and weight of the patients.

 

RESULTS

Median and range of age, height, weight, and BMI were 24 months (2–84 months), 85 cm (55–120 cm), 12 kg (4.55–22 kg), 15.37 kg/m2 (13.92–17.51 kg/m2), 11 cc (2.64–23.15 cc), respectively. Mean shear wave elasticity of thymus of all participants was 6.76±1.04 kPa. Differences of mean elasticity values among gender and consecutive age groups were not statistically significant. There were significant decreases of mean elasticity values after 2 years and 6 years in several age group classifications. Differences of mean elasticity values among gender and consecutive age groups  were not statistically significant, except 0-6 and 6-18 years. Thymus elasticity and velocity values showed highly significant negative correlations with age (r= –0.3), height (r= –0.26), weight (r=–0.3) (P < 0.001).

 

CONCLUSION

Quantitative evaluation of the thymus by SWE provides normative stiffness values based on age and gender groups. The thymus elasticity decreases with increased age, height, and weight. 

 

You may cite this article as: Bayramoğlu Z, Öztürk M, Çalışkan E, Ayyıldız H, Adaletli İ. Normative values of thymus in healthy children; stiffness by shear wave elastography. Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26:147–152.

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