August 31, 1963

Pleural Cysts Simulating Mediastinal Tumors

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif.

From the departments of surgery and medicine, Palo Alto Clinic and Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Mills is a resident in surgery, Palo Alto-Stanford Medical Center.

JAMA. 1963;185(9):727-728. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090059023

PLEURAL CYSTS are rare developmental anomalies which involve the parietal pleura, most commonly on the diaphragmatic surface. These cysts contain serous fluid of low specific gravity and are composed of a thin fibrous wall with an inner mesothelial layer. They are analagous to the "spring-water" cysts (pericardial coelomic, pleuropericardial cysts) which arise from the parietal pericardium.

A pleural cyst is radio-opaque and if sufficiently large and appropriately situated, may be visible on the chest roentgenogram. Depending upon its location, it may simulate a chest-wall tumor, a diaphragmatic tumor, a mediastinal tumor, or a subpleural intrapulmonary solitary circumscribed mass.

In 1936, Freedman and Simon1 reported a case of a simple cyst of the parietal pleura situated on the left diaphragm, and reviewed 16 cases of pleural cysts in the German literature. Only a few scattered reports have appeared subsequently. Because of the rarity of these lesions, it is of interest

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