para-aortic lymph nodes
The posterior mediastinal lymph nodes lie from the region of the lung hilum inferiorly in a line to the superior surface of the diaphragm. They can be sited along the following landmarks:
- anterior to the aorta - pre-aortic nodes
- lateral to the aorta - para-aortic nodes:
- connected to and are in close proximity to the posterior intercostal nodes sited posterolaterally. Involved in passage of lymph from posterior intercostal space.
- on diaphragm form 'posterior diaphagmatic' group of nodes; can receive drainage from lateral inferior mediastinal group
- lateral to oesophagus - para-oesophageal lymph nodes
The posterior mediastinal chains drain the following regions:
- posterior surface of diaphragm
- occasionally, lower lobes of lung
The posterior nodes drain to the thoracic duct.
Last reviewed 01/2018