Mediastinal schwannoma diagnosed preoperatively as a cyst

Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Feb;41(1):76-9. doi: 10.14503/THIJ-12-2760.


Mediastinal schwannomas are sometimes diagnosed as pericardial or bronchogenic cysts, if cystic degeneration is extensive. When mediastinal schwannomas are not diagnosed as primary cardiac tumors, the use of cardiopulmonary bypass in their resection appears to be infrequent. We report the case of a 48-year-old woman who presented with symptoms from a suspected intrapericardial cyst. Multiple diagnostic images revealed a large mass, potentially a proteinaceous or hemorrhagic cyst, in the transverse sinus behind the ascending aorta and against the left main trunk. After complete resection with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass, the mass was identified as a benign extracardiac schwannoma. More than 3 years postoperatively, the patient had no relevant symptoms. We discuss the preoperative diagnosis, the method of resection, and our broad strategy for dealing with such a case.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mediastinal Cyst / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnosis*
  • Neurilemmoma / surgery
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome