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Thymus gland ultrasound

Is a modern noninvasive method of diagnosis that is used to study one of the most important organs of the immune defense. Ultrasound examination of the thymus, to the greatest extent, is used in Pediatrics because this organ plays a very important role in the process of growth and maturation of the child.

The thymus a lymphoid organ situated in the neck of vertebrates which produces T-lymphocytes for the immune system. The human thymus becomes much smaller at the approach of puberty. The size of the thymus has the greatest importance in the diagnosis of disorders, determination of which is the essence of the ultrasound examination of the thymus gland.

Parameters defined during the test

  • Thymus size. It is the most important issue. The normal size of the thymus is determined by age of the child and is calculated according to special chart
  • Thymus contours
  • Thymus tissue structure
  • The presence of pathological inclusions, which differ in structure from the rest of the tissues of the thymus.
  • Frequent colds, the frequency of which is more than 10 times a year.
  • Nasty form of simple childhood infectious diseases such as measles, rubella, scarlet fever.
  • Unexplained allergic reactions.
  • Skin rashes and allergy symptoms manifested even during a strict diet.
  • Frequent elevated body temperature
  • Severe vascular mesh on the anterior chest wall.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the infraclavicular and supraclavicular fossa.
  • Pathological weakness of skeletal muscles.

Preparation and thymus gland ultrasound technique

Thymus gland ultrasound does not require special preparation. It is performed according to the standard technique of ultrasonography in the supine position. If the ultrasound is performed for an infant or a newborn, then a specialist will require the assistance of someone from the parent to fix the child for more informative ultrasound examination.. 

 Abnormalities determined by Thymus gland ultrasound

  • Thymomegalia - a pathological condition characterized by a increase in size of the thymus gland in comparison with existing age rules.
  • Thymic aplasia - a condition where no thymic tissue can be detected due to underdevelopment or involution of the organ.
  • Thymic hypoplasia - a condition where the thymus is underdeveloped or involuted. 
  • Thymic tumors
  • Myasthenia gravis - a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body.

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