Last reviewed 01/2018

Over 50% of mediastinal masses are detected as incidental findings on a chest X-ray. Further information necessary for management may be obtained from:

  • CT scan - axial imaging only
  • barium swallow - if oesophageal disease is suspected
  • doppler sonography or venography of brachiocephalic veins or superior vena cava
  • arteriography
  • MRI - when results of CT scan are equivocal; advantages over CT:
    • distinguishes vessels and masses
    • contrast media unnecessary
    • imaging in multiple planes
    • good delineation of hilar structures
  • biopsy - if suspected neoplasm