Timomegalya: symptoms and treatment
Timomegaly — a pathological condition, which is characterized by an increase in the size of the thymus gland in comparison with the existing age standards. The thymus gland is the most important element of the human immune system, and if the pathological process progresses in it, the reactivity of the organism decreases. Timomegaly, doctors usually diagnose in newborns, as well as in babies for up to a year. It is worth noting that boys are more likely to progress to this disease.
Timomegalia is of the congenital and acquired type. On the development of primary thymomegaly in children, doctors say if there has been a malfunction in the functioning of the thymus gland (possibly due to underdevelopment of the gland in the prenatal period, etc.). Acquired pathology begins to progress only against the background of already existing in the body of blood diseases, organs of the endocrine system (thyrotoxicosis, leukemia, thyroid cancer).
Timomegaly can be isolated or combined with an increase in other lymphoid organs. More often simultaneously with the thymus gland, the spleen (splenomegaly) and lymph nodes increase.
The causes of thymomegaly progression are both endogenous and exogenous. This pathology in children can develop because of:
- hereditary predisposition;
- diseases of infectious nature that the mother suffered during the gestation of the fetus
- effects on the fetus of x-rays, drugs, and also alcohol
- birth injuries;
- asphyxia of the newborn;
- autoimmune diseases
- tumors of benign and malignant nature;
- cardiovascular diseases.
The degree of increase in the thymus gland in children can be determined only by means of instrumental diagnostic techniques (they make it possible to determine the size of the thymus shadow):
- 1 degree — thymus shadow covers ½ of sternum
- 2nd degree — the size of the shadow slightly exceeds ½ of the sternum, but does not reach ¾ of the sternum
- 3 degree — the thymus shadow covers more than ¾ of the sternum.
Symptoms of thymomegaly in babies up to a year, and in children from year to 5 years may be somewhat different.
Symptoms of a disease in infants up to a year:
- increased sweating
- the appearance of a venous grid is marked on the chest
- birth weight is significantly higher than normal
- pallor of the skin;
- sudden fluctuations in weight — the child can start to gain weight sharply, and also lose weight sharply
- the crying of the skin turns blue;
- Cough without obvious signs of a cold. It tends to increase if the child is placed in a horizontal position
- regurgitation of eaten food increases;
- increase in temperature to a subfebrile level (no higher than 38 degrees).
Symptoms of thymomegaly in children after the year:
- skin rashes may appear on the skin;
- Thymus gland in children increases gradually. Her height can be tracked using ultrasound;
- enlargement of regional lymph nodes;
- a characteristic symptom of pathology — a pattern is formed on the skin that is similar to veins of marble
- the surface of the soft palate, tonsils and adenoids may prolapse
- the feet of the feet and the palms of the hands become cold;
- blood pressure is reduced;
- boys have cryptorchidism
- girls may have underdevelopment of external and internal genital organs.
The diagnosis and treatment of thymomegaly in children is done by a pediatrician. In order to determine the true size of the thymus gland, instrumental examination techniques are used:
- X-ray (in the picture, a shadow from the thymus gland will be visible).
It is also necessary to donate blood to detect the level of T-lymphocytes. With thymomegaly, their blood concentration in children will be increased.
For the treatment of pathology in children resort to conservative and operational techniques. Conservative therapy is prescribed for children whose gland size is slightly enlarged. Prescribed a special diet, as well as drugs containing glucocorticosteroids (take long courses).
The surgical method of treatment is resorted to only if the medication has not brought the desired effect. Complete removal of thymus gland. Usually, after such intervention, all the symptoms of the pathology disappear, and the child’s condition is stabilized.