This page is dedicated to covering the important radiological finding of a anterior mediastinal mass. Look here for more radiological findings.
WHAT IS IT?
A anterior mediastinal mass refers to a finding typically appreciated on a chest X-ray. The anterior mediastinum is the compartment of the body that extends from the back of the sternum to the anterior border of the heart and great vessels.
DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS FOR THIS FINDING
When seeing a anterior mediastinal mass, it is important to keep in mind the following possible causes of this finding:
- Substernal thyroid masses (often goiters)
- Lymphadenopathy: lymphoma, metastatic carcinoma, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHARACTERIZING THE FINDING
When seeing a anterior mediastinal mass, there are a few important radiological features one should look at to try and characterize the finding. These features can help navigate the differential diagnosis above.
Displacement of the trachea: this can be suggestive of an enlarged substernal thyroid.
Lobulated border: lymphoadenopahty can be often characterized by a border/shape that is lobulated.
Page Updated: 01.09.2016