Which CT findings are characteristic of benign anterior mediastinal masses in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Mar 05, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Benign anterior mediastinal masses are typically depicted on CT as well-marginated, lobulated, encapsulated, mixed solid and/or cystic masses. In 13% of patients with an anterior mediastinal mass, the tumor extends into the middle and posterior mediastinal compartments. Cystic areas are often multilocular and thinly septate; they are found in up to 88% of cases. Tumors are predominantly cystic in 80% of cases. About 50-73% of benign tumors have fat content, and 25-50% of tumors calcify. A fat-fluid layer may be found in up to 11% of patients. Pleural effusion can be found in up to 17% of cases, and pericardial effusion in 5%. [26]


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