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Introduction to Clinical Radiology: Chest: Normal Anatomy

Anterior Mediastinal Compartment

Brad H. Thompson, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Anterior Mediastinal Compartment

The anterior mediastinal compartment is bordered by the sternum anteriorly, and the ventral cardiac surface posteriorly. This compartment contains fat, ascending aorta, lymph nodes, internal mammary artery and vein, adjacent osseous structures (ribs and sternum), thymus. Therefore will most likely see masses typical to these structures, ie a lymphoma in lymph nodes. Knowledge of the mediastinal contents can aid in your differential diagnosis.

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