Five cases of anterior mediastinal tumour are presented. Two cases were asymptomatic, being discovered by routine chest radiography. The remainder presented with dyspnoea, dysphagia and a sinus over the manubrium.
Each case provided a lesson in the management of the mediastinal mass. Pathologies included haemangioma, teratoma, secondary carcinoma from the kidney and a malignant thymoma which caused cardiac tamponade.
Features of interest in the presentation, treatment and pathology are discussed.
It is concluded that a full investigation of mediastinal swellings is needed before mediastinoscopy is performed; that incision of swellings in the base of the neck should be avoided; and it is suggested that the management of asymptomatic mediastinal haemangioma in adults may be expectant.
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