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Mediastinal tumours and cysts 

Mediastinal tumours and cysts
Chapter:
Mediastinal tumours and cysts
Author(s):

Y.C. Gary Lee

, and Helen E. Davies

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0441
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date: 07 March 2021

Mediastinal masses are most conveniently categorized by their anatomical site in the anterior, middle, or posterior mediastinum. Most present as a radiographic abnormality alone, or in association with symptoms arising from compression of other mediastinal structures. Systemic symptoms such as fever or weight loss are more likely with malignant tumours such as lymphomas or thymomas. Detailed knowledge of normal mediastinal anatomy is a prerequisite to the interpretation of both normal and abnormal chest radiographs. Lymph nodes are present in all three compartments thereby knowledge of their anatomical relationships, together with sites of drainage, is important when interpreting radiographic mediastinal enlargement. The most important group of visceral nodes lie in the middle mediastinum and are predominantly subcarinal and paratracheal. Bronchopulmonary and hilar nodes are numerous but not visible radiographically unless pathologically enlarged.

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