Primary mediastinal tumors. Part 1: tumors of the anterior mediastinum

Chest. 1997 Aug;112(2):511-22. doi: 10.1378/chest.112.2.511.


Primary anterior mediastinal neoplasms comprise a diverse group of tumors and account for 50% of all mediastinal masses. Thymomas are most common and can be locally invasive and associated with parathymic syndromes. Thymic carcinomas and thymic carcinoids are rare malignancies with a propensity for local invasion and distant metastases. Thymolipomas are benign thymic tumors. The mediastinal germ cell tumors are a heterogeneous group of benign and malignant neoplasms. Mediastinal lymphangiomas are rare tumors and predominantly occur in young children. In contrast, mediastinal goiters are relatively common in adults. Mediastinal parathyroid adenomas are an uncommon cause of persistent hyperparathyroidism and rarely cause a discernible mass. The clinical, radiologic, and therapeutic aspects of the most common masses are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Germinoma
  • Goiter, Substernal
  • Humans
  • Mediastinal Cyst
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms*
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms
  • Thymoma
  • Thymus Neoplasms