The surgical availability of the mediastinum has stimulated interest in lesions of this area, but a review of the literature leads to confusion more than to clarity. The boundaries of the mediastinum vary from those stated by Maier,1 who does not include neurogenic tumors because they are in the costovertebral gutter, and not the true mediastinum, through Peabody and others,2 who include the middle mediastinum in the anterior portion and divide the mediastinum into superior and inferior compartments, each with an anterior and a posterior portion. The boundaries accepted by most authors will be used in this article and be delineated later.
Blades,3 Harrington,4 and Laipply5 reviewed this subject, and their combined statistics show that 75% of the anterior mediastinal tumors are of teratoid origin, 52% of the tumors of the middle mediastinum are bronchogenic cysts, 90% of all posterior mediastinal tumors are neuroblastomas, and
STREETE BG, THOMAS DE. Mediastinal MassesAnalysis of Seventy-Two Surgical Cases. AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(1):105-109. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290010107019