Normal Radiologic Anatomy and Anatomical Variants of the Chest Relevant to Thoracic Surgery

  • Cheng Ting LinEmail author
  • Elliot K. Fishman


Preoperative planning requires the careful review of imaging obtained to define anatomy and determine the optimal approach. Normal anatomy and anatomical variants can be challenging and in select cases may simulate pathology. Understanding the radiologic anatomy of the chest is essential to perform safe and successful surgery. This section focuses on the critical anatomic structures seen on imaging that every thoracic surgeon should recognize.


Normal anatomy Computed tomography Aortic arch variants Tracheobronchial variants Accessory fissures Lymph node stations Adenopathy mimics Chest wall anomaly Thoracic nerves 



Computed tomography


Descending aorta




International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


Left carotid


Left pulmonary artery


Left subclavian


Magnetic resonance/magnetic resonance imaging


Pulmonary artery


Right carotid


Recurrent laryngeal nerve


Right pulmonary artery


Right subclavian


Superior vena cava




Tumor, node, and metastasis


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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