Disorders of the Mediastinum

  • Edward W. Humphrey
  • Deanne Lawrence McKeown
Part of the Comprehensive Manuals of Surgical Specialties book series (CMSS)


The mediastinum is a complex region of the thorax between the two pleural cavities. It extends from the thoracic inlet to the diaphragm and from the posterior surface of the sternum to the articulations of the ribs with the vertebral bodies. Because many of the primary disorders of the mediastinum tend to occur in distinctive regions, it is convenient to divide the mediastinum into the three divisions illustrated on the lateral chest radiogram (Fig. 8-1). The anterior-superior mediastinum is that region anterior to the esophagus, anterior and superior to the pericardium, and posterior to the sternum; it contains the thymus, the trachea, and the great vessels above the base of the heart. The posterior mediastinum is that region posterior to the pericardium; it contains the esophagus, the sympathetic ganglia, and segments of the intercostal nerves and blood vessels. The middle mediastinum contains the heart, the hilus of each lung, the carina, and numerous lymph nodes.


Embryonal Carcinoma Mature Teratoma Bronchogenic Cyst Intercostal Nerve Posterior Mediastinum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward W. Humphrey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deanne Lawrence McKeown
    • 3
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaUSA
  2. 2.Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.SedonaUSA

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