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Inflammatory disorders

Acute mediastinitis

Reviewer: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 22 February 2013, last major update December 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Usually in posterior mediastinum, due to traumatic perforation of esophagus or descending infection along prevertebral fascia
● Initial lesion may be a neck abscess
● Often causes mediastinal abscess which requires surgical drainage
● Other causes: chest wall infection or post-cardiac surgery, often due to CMV

Case reports

● Sternum osteolysis following staphylococcus mediastinitis (Cardiovasc Pathol 2006;15:297)
● Descending necrotizing mediastinitis: rare spreading of cervical infection to mediastinum (Clin Imaging 2005;29:138)

Micro images

Extensive acute inflammation

Fibrinoinflammatory exudate

End of Mediastinum > Inflammatory disorders > Acute mediastinitis

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