Mediastinum

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mediastinum

[‚mē·dē·ə′stī·nəm]
(anatomy)
A partition separating adjacent parts.
The space in the middle of the chest between the two pleurae.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mediastinum

 

in man, an anatomic area in the thoracic cavity, bounded anteriorly by the sternum, posteriorly by the thoracic region of the spine, laterally by the pleurae and lung surfaces, and inferiorly by the diaphragm; an arbitrary horizontal line drawn across the upper edge of the sternum is considered to be the upper boundary.

A distinction is made between anterior and posterior mediastinal regions, which are divided by the roots of the lungs. The anterior mediastinum contains the heart and heart sac (the pericardium), the ascending aorta and its arch (including the arteries issuing from them), the pulmonary trunk, the venae cavae, the pulmonary veins, and the phrenic nerves. The posterior mediastinum contains the thoracic portion of the descending aorta and its branches, the esophagus, the azygos and hemiazygos veins, the thoracic lymphatic duct, and the vagus and splanchnic nerves.

Closed injuries of mediastinal organs occur in cases of contusions, compression of the chest, and sternal fractures. Upon injury to the lungs or bronchi and the accumulation of air, pneumomediastinum and the compression of mediastinal organs may occur. Open mediastinal injuries are associated with injuries of the lungs and often of the organs of the abdominal cavity. Mediastinal injuries are treated surgically. The most common diseases of the mediastinum include mediastinitis, substernal extension of an enlarged thyroid gland, cysts and tumors of mediastinal organs, and lesions of mediastinal lymph nodes, for example, in cases of lymphogranulomatosis.

REFERENCES

Petrovskii, B. V. Khirurgiia sredosteniia. Moscow, 1960.
Elizarovskii, S. I., and G. I. Kondrat’ev. Khirurgicheskaia anatomiia sredosteniia (atlas). Moscow, 1961.
Gol’bert, Z. V., and G. A. Lavnikova. Opukholi i kistv sredosteniia. Moscow, 1965. ’
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Typical diagnostic criteria include the presence of tubular cystic structures, sometimes with branching pattern, characteristic location in the mediastinum testis and absence of contrast enhancement (Fig.
On ultrasound, diagnostic keys are numerous small cystic structures within the rete testis without calcifications or solid components and a characteristic location in the posterolateral region of the testis near the mediastinum testis. No color flow is seen in these structures (Figure 1).