Computed tomography in the evaluation of mediastinal widening

Academic Article


  • Computed tomography was employed in 71 patients to assess a widened mediastinum detected on plain chest radiographs. In 92% of the patients, CT correctly identified normal variants, soft-tissue density masses or vascular abnormalities as the cause of mediastinal widening. In 8% of the scans, all performed early in our experience, CT diagnosis was indeterminate (4%) or incorrect (4%). In 58% of the cases, a specific and correct CT diagnosis was made, which obviated further and more invasive diagnostic evaluation. CT scanning can differentiate vascular from avascular causes of mediastinal widening, and provide a specific and conclusive diagnosis in many instances. Invasive diagnostic procedures should be reserved for the few cases in which CT is indeterminate or additional preoperative information is required.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Baron RL; Levitt RG; Sagel SS; Stanley RJ
  • Start Page

  • 107
  • End Page

  • 113
  • Volume

  • 138
  • Issue

  • 1