Tumors arising from the posterior compartment are often neurogenic.
Neuroblastoma is the commonest cause of a posterior mediastinal tumor in children.
Differential Diagnosis of a Posterior Mediastinal Mass:
Congenital vs Acquired
Associated with congenital anomaly of the thoracic spine
|Infection||Bacterial - TB & atypical mycobacterium|
Neuroblastoma - commonest
|Germ cell tumors|
|Metastatic adenopathy from other causes.|
The chest X-ray below was taken of a child who presented with increasing shortness of breath. It shows a large mediastinal mass (#1) which is compressing the lower end of the trachea (#2 shows this region) and carina. She had metastatic osteogenic sarcoma which had become unresponsive to chemotherapy.
Below is the CT scan of the same tumor (#1). This is a mass arising in the region of the right posterior mediastinum. There is some calcification which is consistent with the diagnosis of metastatic osteogenic sarcoma.