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March 7, 1977

Anterior Mediastinal Lesion

JAMA. 1977;237(10):999-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270370071031

A LESION anterior to a curved vertical line extending along the posterior border of the heart and anterior margin of the trachea is considered to lie in the anterior mediastinum.1


  1. Aneurysm of ascending aorta or sinus of Valsalva; buckled innominate artery

  2. Lymphoma (especially nodular sclerosing Hodgkin)

  3. Morgagni hernia, hepatic herniation

  4. Pericardial cyst

  5. Retrosternal thyroid

  6. Teratoid lesion (benign or malignant teratoma, dermoid cyst,* seminoma, choriocarcinoma, embryonal cell carcinoma)

  7. Thymic lesion (benign or malignant thymoma,* thymic cyst,* thymolipoma, lymphoma arising in thymus, thymic hyperplasia



  1. Anomalous left superior vena cava

  2. Bronchogenic cyst

  3. Cardiac tumor or aneurysm

  4. Chemodectoma

  5. Cystic hygroma, lymphangioma

  6. Hematoma

  7. Lymphoid hyperplasia, benign

  8. Mediastinitis, mediastinal abscess or fibrosis

  9. Mesenchymal tumor

  10. Neurofibroma

  11. Pericardial tumor

  12. Superior vena caval dilation Items distinguished by an asterisk can calcify


Diagnosis  Benign thymoma.

Comment  In the