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Video

Professor Adrian Thrasher
The thymus is the gland in the body that makes T cells and T cells are important for fighting against viral infections in particular. So she has none of those T cells, or very few of those T cells in her blood and we believe that’s because they are not being released from the thymus gland properly.

Often in this type of condition the thymus gland is absent, but we know it’s there, in fact it’s normal and it’s a good size in Charlotte.

Charlotte’s Mum:
In May we tried to biopsy the thymus, unfortunately they didn’t get the right sort of tissue using a needle. So we’re back today to see a cardiac surgeon who’s going to try and do a small incision in her neck and if that doesn’t work he’s going to have to cut through the bone.

Professor Martin Elliott:
OK here we go.

Professor Martin Elliott:
The biopsy will be as big as I can get, basically, probably half the thymus, one side of it. And then we will divide it up into fragments and it goes to the immunology labs where a whole bunch of scientists will break it up and look for the cell types, various characteristics of those cells, they may even grow those cells to see how they function.

Professor Martin Elliott:
We’ll try and do it there, we normally, I usually do all the tracheal surgery through this incision.

Nurse:
Yeah, through the incision.

Professor Martin Elliott:
We can see, and if it’s difficult we can extend it.

Nurse:
Always, yeah.

Professor Martin Elliott:
We will use the cutting, the cut, to go through the skin here because of the cosmetic effect. And we should now be approaching the tissue that we want. With any luck, there will be a thymus up here. There is. It’s lovely. We’re lucky, because a lot of her thymus is above the big vein that crosses behind here, so I think I can get it all or at least as much as I need, from up here, which is very good for her. And then if we can just use this end of the retractor underneath the…

Nurse:
I can give you the…

Professor Martin Elliott:
No this is OK, I am just being a little more cautious than usual, because she’s just got a lot of surgery, so much treatment to have. I don’t want any complications. In fact I’ll take a knife first, and we can put this into saline if we may.

There’s the first specimen of the thymus. I’ll transfer into the saline there. Thank you.

Dr Marian Malone:
What we’re looking to see, is the architecture of her thymus normal. Frequently in children with this type of disorder we might find a small thymus, an abnormal thymus, a thymus which had no lymphocytes, no T cells, no Hassall’s corpuscles. But we’ve not demonstrated any of those findings in Charlotte’s thymus. This is very unusual. It’s a mystery to us why Charlotte has plenty of T cells in her thymus and no circulating T cells, so the problem must lie elsewhere.

Read the video transcript

In this video Charlotte undergoes an exploratory operation to find out if her Thymus gland might be the cause of her immune deficiency. In Charlotte’s case her thymus was found to be functioning normally, and so the doctors proceeded with the plan for a bone marrow donation.

Read the full episode guide for Charlotte’s Story >

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hi im 48 years old and for the last 8 plus years iv suffered from pain in my lower back in groins and down legs this sometimes is so painfull i can bairly walk. someties my legs just give way under me. the pain is like my legs are in vice grips. iv had xrays and scans been told ther is some degeneration of the bones in hips but not enough to cause the pain im getting. iv had physio but it dont help im on diclofenic and amitriptyline and parcetimal this curbs the pain but at night time the pain is so bad it keeps me awake. im not a couch potato and cant stand to sit for any length of time i do walk a fair bit in my job I used to be a swimmer but now can bairly use my legs to swim and even going for a slow walk or cutting grass gives me so much pain. i just want to find out a cause for this as its afecting my every day life





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hi iam 16 years old and i am embassed about my body i have very large breasts they are a siz 34 f and give me back pains a lot could you give me any advie or that ? thnks x





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get a reduction, I did at 18, I would suggest you get one before they get bigger so you would be able to have smaller boobs, and the recovery would be faster considering your age. i was a size 32 H or G, 120 pounds (before the surgery) and 5"3 and they took off 3 quarters of a pound from each breast. Had lipo to make them look natural and to avoid extensive scarring i had the lolli pop incision. I am generally happy with how they look now, but healing is still going on :P

hi im sam and i watched the show and was wondering how to find oout more about bonating bone marrow





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http://www.anthonynolan.org.uk/ Hi - You will find everything you need to know at the anthony nolan bone marrow trust website. PS Good on you!

or give blood at a routine blood donors. .tell them you want to go on the bone marrow register and they will take a little extra and do it all for you.

Please could you send me some info on where i can donate bone marrow????





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