Mediastinum > General

Posterior Mediastinal Masses: General

Neurogenic tumors constitute between 20 to 40% of resected mediastinal neoplasms and the great majority are located in the posterior mediastinum. Neurogenic tumors are the most common cause of a posterior mediastinal mass [1]. Between 70-80% of the lesions are benign and approximately 50% of patients are asymptomatic. The vast majority of mediastinal neurogenic tumors are benign. Neurogenic tumors can be divided into 3 categories:

1- Arising from peripheral nerves: Schwannoma, neurofibroma, and malignant tumors of nerve sheath origin

2- Arising from sympathetic ganglia: Ganglioneuroma, ganglioneuroblastoma, and neuroblastoma

3- Arising from paraganglia: Paraganglioma

- Lateral Thoracic Meningocele

- Other cause of posterior mediastinal masses include: Extramedullary hematopoiesis, Aortic aneurysm, Pancreatic pseudocyst, and Ectopic kidney

(1) Chest 1997; Strollo DC, et al. Primary mediastinal tumors. Part II: Tumors of the middle and posterior mediastinum. 112: 1344-57

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