Posterior Mediastinal Diseases
Dr. Erhan ÖZER, Dr. Hüseyin MELEK


Posterior mediastinum; It is defined as the area formed by the posterior part of the pericardium anteriorly, the chest wall posteriorly and the costovertebral sulcus laterally. This area is rich in vasculature and nerves as it contains major vessels (descending thoracic aorta, inferior vena cava and azygous vein) and nervous structures (vagus, intercostal nerves, sympathetic chain) and also the esophagus. The majority of masses located in the posterior mediastinum in adults are asymptomatic and benign. They are identified incidentally as radiographic abnormalities. They can be classified radiologically as cystic or solid. While cystic masses typically represent bronchogenic cysts or esophageal duplication cysts, the majority of solid masses are benign neurogenic tumors. Today, minimally invasive approaches with low morbidity can be applied to the majority of posterior mediastinal masses. For this reason, most authors recommend surgical resection without prior diagnostic procedure such as biopsy, even in asymptomatic patients. However, in elderly patients with asymptomatic lesions or with significant comorbidities, it is recommended that lesions considered to be benign should be followed up with serial radiographic examinations and removed if they begin to grow dramatically, develop symptoms, or change radiographic appearance.

Keywords: Posterior mediastinal diseases, etiology, mediastinal masses.
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