Pictorial Review of Mediastinal Masses with an Emphasis on Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Korean J Radiol. 2021 Jan;22(1):139-154. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2019.0897. Epub 2020 Aug 11.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a crucial tool for evaluating mediastinal masses considering that several lesions that appear indeterminate on computed tomography and radiography can be differentiated on MRI. Using a three-compartment model to localize the mass and employing a basic knowledge of MRI, radiologists can easily diagnose mediastinal masses. Here, we review the use of MRI in evaluating mediastinal masses and present the images of various mediastinal masses categorized using the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group's three-compartment classification system. These masses include thymic hyperplasia, thymic cyst, pericardial cyst, thymoma, mediastinal hemangioma, lymphoma, mature teratoma, bronchogenic cyst, esophageal duplication cyst, mediastinal thyroid carcinoma originating from ectopic thyroid tissue, mediastinal liposarcoma, mediastinal pancreatic pseudocyst, neurogenic tumor, meningocele, and plasmacytoma.

Keywords: Image interpretation; Magnetic resonance imaging; Mediastinum; Neoplasm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Mediastinal Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Mediastinum / diagnostic imaging
  • Societies, Medical
  • Thymoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Thymus Hyperplasia / diagnostic imaging