Anterior mediastinal neoplasms comprise a diverse group of tumors and occasionally manifest as a cystic lesion. We retrospectively reviewed computed tomography (CT) scans in 46 patients with pathologically proved cystic anterior mediastinal tumors. We categorize them into a pure cystic mass and a cystic tumor with a solid portion. In this pictorial essay, the radiologic appearances of cystic anterior mediastinal tumors are described with CT and illustrated with their gross and histopathological findings on resected specimen.
Cystic anterior mediastinal tumors include a variety of entities with overlapping radiologic manifestations. 1 In the review of chest radiography and computed tomography (CT) scans in 46 patients with pathologically proved cystic anterior mediastinal tumors (surgical resection, n = 39; biopsy, n = 7), we categorize them into a pure cystic mass and a cystic mass with solid portion. The pure cystic masses are generally benign cysts, and many changes may occur by the degenerations. Many anterior mediastinal tumors can undergo a cystic degeneration and demonstrate a cystic mass with solid portion at CT. The frequencies of the various tumors in the presented series are summarized in Table 1.
In this article, we present the characteristic and diverse CT findings of the anterior mediastinal cystic masses, which were correlated with their gross findings on resected specimen and histopathological findings.