The Mediastinum and Pleural

  • Mary M. Salvatore
  • Ronaldo Collo Go
  • Monica A. Pernia M.


The mediastinal structures on chest CT which include the thyroid gland, lymph nodes, heart, great vessels, and esophagus should be viewed on mediastinal window settings (Level 40, Window 400). I recommend reviewing each organ individually as you scroll up and down through the organ.

Three vessels typically originate from the arch of the aorta: from right to left, the right brachiocephalic artery, the left carotid artery, and the left subclavian artery. Common variants of the arch of the aorta are a bovine aortic arch where the right brachiocephalic artery and the left carotid have a common origin [Layton et al., AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27:1541–1542, 2006]. Also the vertebral artery may have a separate origin directly from the arch [Einstein et al., AORTA J. 4:64–67, 2016]. A less common variant is an aberrant right subclavian artery which must travel behind the trachea and esophagus to go from the left to right side [Donnelly et al., AJR Am J Roentgenol. 178:1269–1274, 2002].


Bronchogenic cyst Thymic neoplasm Teratoma Extramedullary hematopoiesis Right heart strain Trapped lung 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary M. Salvatore
    • 1
  • Ronaldo Collo Go
    • 2
  • Monica A. Pernia M.
    • 3
  1. 1.RadiologyIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep MedicineCrystal Run Health CareMiddletownUSA
  3. 3.Internal MedicineNew York Medical College - Metropolitan Hospital ProgramNew YorkUSA

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