A rare case of mediastinal mass with massive pleural effusion misdiagnosed as neurogenic tumor

J Cardiothorac Surg. 2022 Dec 13;17(1):307. doi: 10.1186/s13019-022-02082-4.


Background: Mediastinal cavernous hemangiomas are extremely rare vascular tumors. To the best of our knowledge less than 20 cases of posterior mediastinal hemangioma have been reported in literature, and this is the first case of mediastinal cavernous hemangioma presenting with massive pleural effusion.

Case presentation: We report a case of a 56-year-old female who presented with cough and chest tightness and was found with a massive pleural effusion in chest CT. It was mistaken for a malignant pleural effusion. A posterior mediastinal lesion was observed after thoracic drainage and misdiagnosed again as neurofibroma. The lesion was resected and post-operative histopathology suggested that it was a cavernous hemangioma. Post-operative recovery was uneventful, and a follow-up examination nearly 14 months later showed the patient had no recurrence.

Conclusions: Due to the lack of diagnostic specificity and variety of clinical manifestations, CHM is often misdiagnosed prior to resection. This is the first description of mediastinal hemangioma presenting with massive pleural effusion. It is very important to consider mediastinal hemangioma before operation to reduce surgical complications, and it should be in the differential diagnosis of posterior mediastinal masses.

Keywords: Cavernous hemangiomas; Mediastinum; Pleural effusion; Surgical resection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Errors / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hemangioma* / complications
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Effusion* / diagnosis
  • Pleural Effusion* / etiology