Intrathoracic masses due to extramedullary hematopoiesis

Roberto Castelli, Giovanna Graziadei, Mehran Karimi, Maria Domenica Cappellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extramedullary hematopoiesis often occurs in hemoglobinopathies, hemolytic anemias, leukemias, lymphomas, and myeloproliferative disorders. Liver, spleen, and lymph nodes are frequently involved. However, extramedullary hematopoiesis may also develop in other sites such as thymus, kidney, retroperitoneum, and paravertebral areas of the thorax. Extramedullary hematopoietic masses are often microscopic and asymptomatic, but sometimes they lead to tumor-like masses. We describe massive intrathoracic extramedullary hematopoiesis in a 41-year-old man with compound heterozygosis for β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia and functional asplenia. We also describe a 39-year-old man with β-thalassemia intermedia, who was initially diagnosed as having tumor masses, but was later proved, by magnetic resonance imaging, to have extramedullary erythropoietic tissue. These observations provide further support to include extramedullary hematopoiesis among the differential diagnosis of tumor-like masses in patients with hematologic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Extramedullary hematopoiesis
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemia intermedia
  • Tumor-like masses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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