Intermittent brachiocephalic vein obstruction secondary to a thymic cyst

Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Aug;70(2):662-3. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(00)01573-3.


Mediastinal thymic cysts are usually asymptomatic and found incidentally on a routine chest roentgenogram. Rarely, they may cause symptoms of vascular obstruction. A 55-year-old woman presented with intermittent swelling in her left neck. The swelling was positional and was worse while supine and disappeared while upright. Evaluation revealed a thymic cyst causing extrinsic compression of the left brachiocephalic vein. The cyst was resected with complete resolution of the left neck swelling.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brachiocephalic Veins*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Mediastinal Cyst / complications*
  • Mediastinal Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Venous Insufficiency