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2014 | 4 | 1 | 9-12

Article title

Fetal Thymus - Review


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This is review of the literature regarding fetal thymus development, its role in immune system, research regarding prenatal thymus evaluation in fetal congenital heart defects, abnormal karyotypes, intrauterine growth restriction. The methods of fetal type measurements both in singelton and multiple pregnancies are discussed and presented.









Physical description


1 - 3 - 2014
16 - 3 - 2014
2 - 4 - 2014
30 - 12 - 2015


  • Department of Diagnoses and Prevention Fetal Malformations Medical University of Lodz
  • Department of Prenatal Cardiology, Polish Mother's Memorial Hospital Research Institute


  • 1. Yeager SB, Sanders SP. Echocardiographic identification of thymic tissue in neonates with congenital heart disease. Am Heart J 1995; 129: 837-9.
  • 2. Felker RE, Cartier MS, Emerson DS, Brown DL. Ultrasound of the fetal thymus. J Ultrasound Med 1989; 8: 669-673.
  • 3. Zalel Y, Gamzu R, Mashiach S, Achiron R. The development of the fetal thymus: an in utero sonographic evaluation. Prenat Diagn. 2002 Feb;22(2):114-7.
  • 4. Machlitt A, Tennstedt C, Körner H, Bommer C, Chaoui R. Prenatal diagnosis of 22q11 microdeletion in an early second-trimester fetus with conotruncal anomaly presenting with increased nuchal translucency and bilateral intracardiac echogenic foci. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2002 May;19(5):510-3.
  • 5. Chaoui R, Körner H, Bommer C, Kalache KD. Fetal thymus and the 22q11.2 deletion. Prenat Diagn. 2002 Sep;22(9):839-40.
  • 6. Bartel H. Embriologia PZWL 2004.
  • 7. Cho JY, Min JY, Lee YH, McCrindle B, Hornberger LK, Yoo SJ. Diameter of the normal fetal thymus on ultrasound. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Jun;29(6):634-8.
  • 8. Chaoui R, Kalache KD, Heling KS, Tennstedt C, Bommer C, Körner H. Absent or hypoplastic thymus on ultrasound: a marker for deletion 22q11.2 in fetal cardiac defects. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Dec;20(6):546-52.
  • 9. Barrea C, Yoo SJ, Chitayat D, Valsangiacomo E, Winsor E, Smallhorn JF, Hornberger LK. Assessment of the thymus at echocardiography in fetuses at risk for 22q11.2 deletion. Prenat Diagn. 2003 Jan;23(1):9-15.
  • 10. Volpe P, Marasini M, Caruso G, Marzullo A, Buonadonna AL, Arciprete P, Di Paolo S, Volpe G, Gentile M. 22q11 deletions in fetuses with malformations of the outflow tracts or interruption of the aortic arch: impact of additional ultrasound signs. Prenat Diagn. 2003 Sep;23(9):752-7.
  • 11. Chaoui R, Heling KS, Lopez AS, Thiel G, Karl K. The thymicthoracic ratio in fetal heart defects: a simple way to identify fetuses at high risk for microdeletion 22q11. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;37(4):397-403. doi: 10.1002/uog.8952. Epub 2011 Mar 4.[Crossref]
  • 12. Bataeva R, Bellsham-Revell H, Zidere V, Allan LD. Reliability of fetal thymus measurement in prediction of 22q11.2 deletion: a retrospective study using four-dimensional spatiotemporal image correlation volumes. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Feb;41(2):172-6. doi: 10.1002/uog.11194.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 13. learo E, Oberto M, Oggè G, Botta G, Pace C, Gaglioti P, Todros T. Thymic volume in healthy, small for gestational age and growth restricted fetuses. Prenat Diagn. 2012 Jul;32(7):662-7. doi: 10.1002/ pd.3883. Epub 2012 Apr 30.[Crossref]
  • 14. Cromi A, Ghezzi F, Raffaelli R, Bergamini V, Siesto G, Bolis P. Ultrasonographic measurement of thymus size in IUGR fetuses: a marker of the fetal immunoendocrine response to malnutrition. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2009; 33: 421-426.[WoS]
  • 15. De Leon-Luis J, Santolaya J, Gamez F, Pintado P, Perez R, Ortiz- Quintana L. Sonographic thymic measurements in Down syndrome fetuses. Prenat Diagn. 2011 Sep;31(9):841-5. doi: 10.1002/pd.2783. Epub 2011 Jul 24.[Crossref]
  • 16. Karl K, Heling KS, Sarut Lopez A, Thiel G, Chaoui R.Thymic-thoracic ratio in fetuses with trisomy 21, 18 or 13. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Oct;40(4):412-7. doi: 10.1002/uog.11068.[WoS][Crossref]
  • 17. Mohamed N1, Eviston DP, Quinton AE, Benzie RJ, Kirby AC, Peek MJ, Nanan RK Smaller fetal thymuses in pre-eclampsia: a prospective cross-sectional study. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;37(4):410-5. doi: 10.1002/uog.8953. Epub 2011 Mar 7.[Crossref][WoS]
  • 18. Gamez F, De Leon-Luis J, Pintado P, Perez R, Robinson JN, Antolin E, Ortiz-Quintana L, Santolaya-Forgas J. Fetal thymus size in uncomplicated twin and singleton pregnancies. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Sep;36(3):302-7. doi: 10.1002/uog.7578. (PDF freee)[Crossref]
  • 19. De Leon-Luis J, Ruiz Y, Gamez F, Pintado P, Oyelese Y, Pereda A, Ortiz-Quintana L, Santolaya-Forgas J Comparison of measurements of the transverse diameter and perimeter of the fetal thymus obtained by magnetic resonance and ultrasound imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 May;33(5):1100-5. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22547.[Crossref]
  • 20. Li L, Bahtiyar MO, Buhimschi CS, Zou L, Zhou QC, Copel JA Assessment of the fetal thymus by two- and three-dimensional ultrasound during normal human gestation and in fetuses with congenital heart defects. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;37(4):404-9. doi: 10.1002/uog.8853. Epub 2011 Jan 28.[Crossref]
  • 21. Ruano R, Benachi A, Aubry MC, Dumez Y, Dommergues M. Volume contrast imaging: A new approach to identify fetal thoracic structures. J Ultrasound Med. 2004 Mar;23(3):403-8.
  • 22. Musilova I, Kacerovsky M, Reslova T, Tosner J. Ultrasound measurements of the transverse diameter of the fetal thymus in uncomplicated singleton pregnancies. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(6):766-70.
  • 23. Paladini D. How to identify the thymus in the fetus: the thy-box. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;37(4):488-92. doi: 10.1002/ uog.8854. Epub 2011 Jan 25. [WoS][Crossref]

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