Mediastinum (Interpleural Space)

  • Philip Thorek


The mediastinum is the middle compartment of the chest which is situated between the 2 pleural cavities. Its boundaries are (Fig. 241): anterior, the sternum; posterior, the bodies of the 12 thoracic vertebrae; superior, the thoracic inlet; inferior, the diaphragm. The sides are formed by the mediastinal pleurae. It is divided into superior and inferior mediastina by an imaginary line which extends from the sternal angle (manubriosternal joint) to the disk between the 4th and the 5th thoracic vertebrae. The inferior mediastinum is subdivided into 3 mediastina by the heart, which acts as the key structure in this subdivision. That part of the inferior mediastinum which contains the heart is called the middle mediastinum; that part in front of it makes up the anterior, and the part situated behind the heart constitutes the posterior mediastinum.


Aortic Arch Thoracic Duct Posterior Mediastinum Anterior Mediastinum Imaginary Line 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Thorek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Thorek Hospital and Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Cook County Graduate School of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.University of Illinois College of MedicineUSA
  4. 4.American College of Chest PhysiciansUSA

Personalised recommendations