Posterior Mediastinal Tumors

  • Keith S. Naunheim
  • Melanie A. Edwards


The posterior mediastinum begins at the posterior pericardium and ends at the anterior longitudinal ligament. The thoracic inlet and diaphragm, respectively, form the superior and inferior extent, and the pleural reflections comprise the lateral margins. Within this space lies the oesophagus, descending thoracic aorta, thoracic duct, azygos and hemiazygos veins, nerve roots, sympathetic nerves, and proximal intercostal nerves and vessels [1]. The pathologic processes found in the posterior mediastinum vary according to age; 50–75% of posterior mediastinal tumors are of neurogenic origin in infants and adults (up to 95%), while lymphoma is more common in adolescents. Most tumors found in adults originate from the peripheral nerve sheath and are benign [2]. In the pediatric population, posterior neurogenic tumors comprise a greater proportion of all thoracic tumors, and up to 60% are malignant [1, 3].


Mediastinal neoplasm Mediastinal cyst Neurilemmoma Ganglioneuroma Neuroblastoma Thoracoscopy Thoracic surgery Video assisted 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St Louis University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cardiothoracic SurgerySt Louis University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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