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February 1971

The Asymptomatic Mediastinal Mass

Author Affiliations

San Antonio, Tex
From the Thoracic Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, and the Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School, San Antonio (Dr. Dooley).

Arch Surg. 1971;102(2):98-102. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350020008003

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.