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


● 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, Castlemanís disease, microcystic anemia


Transverse section

Lateral divisions

End of Mediastinum > General

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