Mediastinum
General

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 13 June 2018, last major update December 2012

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PubMed Search: Mediastinum[TI] general

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Mediastinum - general. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/mediastinumgeneral.html. Accessed July 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Mediastinum is thoracic cavity between pleural cavities, from sternum to spine, thoracic inlet to diaphragm
  • Symptomatic tumors are usually 2 - 3 cm or more; most masses are detected incidentally and undergo needle biopsy
  • Superior mediastinum: thymomas, thymic cyst, lymphoma, thyroid lesions, parathyroid adenoma
  • Anterior mediastinum: ventral to anterior cardiac border and aortic root - thymic epithelial tumors and cysts, germ cell neoplasms, lymphoproliferative lesions, retrosternal thyroid glandular proliferations, parathyroid lesions, aorticopulmonary type paragangliomas, lymphangioma, hemangioma, lipoma
  • Middle mediastinum: between (a) anterior cardiac silhouette and aortic root and (b) posterior tracheal carinii - pericardial cyst, bronchogenic cyst, lymphoma
  • Posterior mediastinum: dorsal to large conducting airways - neurogenic tumors: schwannoma, neurofibroma, ganglioneuroma, ganglioneuroblastoma, MPNST, neuroblastoma, paraganglioma, gastroenteric cysts
  • Acquired hypogammaglobulinemia or pure anerythrogenesis: thymoma, leukemia, lymphoma
  • Myasthenia gravis: thymic hyperplasia, thymoma
  • Superior vena cava syndrome: usually indicates malignancy, most commonly metastatic lung carcinoma and lymphoma in adults and lymphoma and acute leukemia in children; also fibrous mediastinitis
  • Systemic symptoms (weight loss, fever, night sweats): lymphoma, Castleman disease, microcystic anemia
Diagrams / tables

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Transverse section

Lateral divisions