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Prognostic factors and outcome in cats with thymic epithelial tumours: 64 cases (1999‐2021)

Marks, T. A.; Rossanese, M.; Yale, A. D.; Stewart, S.; Smallwood, K.; Rigas, K.; Guillén, A.


T. A. Marks

M. Rossanese

A. D. Yale

S. Stewart

K. Smallwood

K. Rigas

A. Guillén


Objectives: To describe the clinical presentation, treatment and outcomes of cats diagnosed with thymic epithelial tumours and to determine prognostic factors for survival and recurrence.

Materials and Methods: Clinical records of cats diagnosed with a thymic epithelial tumour between 1999 and 2021 at three referral institutions were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Sixty-four cats were included. Paraneoplastic syndromes were present in nine cats and metastatic disease was seen in two cats, one at diagnosis and one at the time of recurrence. Median tumour diameter was 6 cm (range, 2 to 15) and a cystic appearance was described on imaging in 25 cats. Surgical excision was attempted in 54 cats with a perioperative mortality rate of 11%. Median survival time for cats surviving to hospital discharge was 897 days (range, 21 to 3322). The 1-, 2- and 5-year survival rates for surgically treated thymic epithelial tumour were 86%, 70% and 66%, respectively. Survival was longer for cats with Masaoka-Koga stage I and II tumours compared to stages III and IV (1366 days versus 454 days; P=0.002). Masaoka-Koga stage was the only significant prognostic factor detected on multi-variable analysis, with stage III and IV tumours associated with increased risk of death (hazard ratio: 5.67, 95% confidence interval: 1.29 to 24.91, P=.021). Tumour recurrence occurred in 11 cats at a median of 564 days (range, 93 to 1095); no significant prognostic factors for recurrence were identified.

Clinical Significance: Cats with thymic epithelial tumours had a good long-term prognosis following surgery. Tumour recurrence can occur late in the disease course and ongoing monitoring should therefore be considered. Masaoka-Koga stage may influence survival time and could be used to predict outcome.


Marks, T. A., Rossanese, M., Yale, A. D., Stewart, S., Smallwood, K., Rigas, K., & Guillén, A. (in press). Prognostic factors and outcome in cats with thymic epithelial tumours: 64 cases (1999‐2021). Journal of Small Animal Practice,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2023
Online Publication Date Oct 6, 2023
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 4, 2023
Journal Journal of Small Animal Practice
Print ISSN 0022-4510
Electronic ISSN 1748-5827
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Small Animals
Publisher URL


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