The incidence of lymph node metastases in thymoma remains unclear. Surgical complications of lymph node dissection are rare. Systematic lymph node dissection did not increase the rate of N positive tumors. Lymph node dissection may not be recommended for smaller, non-invasive thymoma. Lymph node dissection should be discussed for invasive thymomas. Lymph node dissection (LND) and nodal metastases in thymomas remain controversial and understudied. The aim of our study was to evaluate the incidence of nodal metastasis and the short term outcomes of systematic LND in thymomas. From December 2017 to September 2020, we performed 54 LND conducted according to the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group (ITMIG) lymph node map. This group was compared to a historical control group of 55 patients who underwent surgery in our center from January 2015 to November 2017. LND was performed in 72 % and in 5 % of the cases in the study cohort group and historical control group, respectively. The number of lymph nodes retrieved was significantly higher in the study cohort group (3.89 per patient vs. 1.62, p = 0.0021). In the whole population studied, nodal metastases were found in 3 patients (2.8 % of all patients) with 5.6 % in the cohort study group vs. 0 % in the control group (p = 0.12).

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