Cardiothoracic Imaging
Contents Anatomy Techniques Findings Cases References


Image finding: Mediastinal mass

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Follow-up radiograph


The findings of mediastinal masses should be distinguished from enlargement of either the heart or aorta. Mediastinal masses need not be symmetric but commonly they will occur beyond the usual limits of the normal mediastinal segments. Mediastinal masses are generally classified by their presence in either the anterior, middle or posterior mediastinum. Anterior mediastinal masses can include thymomas, whereas middle mediastinal masses are dominated by lymphomas and lymphatic spread of tumors. Posterior mediastinal masses may often be of neural origin. Location of these masses often requires the lateral x-ray and conventionally will include either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for further evaluation.


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December 18, 2004 (PL)
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