From 1958 to 1969, the cases of 144 patients with undiagnosed mediastinal masses were evaluated on the Thoracic Surgery Service of Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. Of these patients, 72% were asymptomatic and their lesions were discovered on routine roentgenogram of the chest. This represents one of the largest asymptomatic series in the literature. It is believed that the relatively low surgical morbidity and mortality, as well as the early surgical detection of malignant diseases in this series, can justify the recommendation for early operative intervention in patients who have an asymptomatic mediastinal mass.
Fontenelle LJ, Armstrong RG, Stanford W, Lindberg EF, Dooley BN. The Asymptomatic Mediastinal Mass. Arch Surg. 1971;102(2):98-102. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350020008003