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Differential Diagnosis



Posterior Mediastinal Mass

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

Neurogenic Cyst

Associated with congenital anomaly of the thoracic spine


Infection Bacterial - TB & atypical mycobacterium


Benign Neurofibroma

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.



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