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The tenn thymoma, fonnerly used to designate a large variety of his tologically unrelated tumours involving the thymus, is now restricted to neoplasms arising from - or differentiating towards - thymic epi thelial cells, regardless of the presence and relative number of non neoplastic lymphocytes. Although in a generic sense all thymic epi thelial neoplasms could be designated as thymomas, it has been customary to restrict this tenn to those neoplasms showing no overt atypia of the epithelial component, and to classify the others as thy mic carcinomas (see Sect. 1. 2) The classification of thymomas (by themselves and in relation to thymic carcinomas) has been and remains a source of debate. No con sensus has been reached on how to best subdivide these tumours and what tenns are to be used for these sUbtypes. However, some gener al principles and conclusions have emerged from the various classifi cation schemes proposed over the years. Historically, there have been two separate approaches to the evaluation and subdivision of thymomas. One has been based on the presence and degree of contiguous invasion, and presence of implants, lymph node metastases or distant metastases, and there fore has incorporated the criteria of a staging system. The other approach has been promulgated on the basis of the cytoarchitec tural features of the tumor independently from the presence and degree of invasiveness.