Anatomy Of The Mediastinum

Mediastinum is the space between the two pleural cavities. 
It is divided into….

  • Superior mediastinum
  • Inferior mediastinum
    • Anterior mediastinum
    • Middle mediastinum
    • Posterior mediastinum

Superior Mediastinum
Bounded by….
  • Anteriorly by the manuribum sterni
  • Posteriorly by T1 to T4
  • Above, continues with the root of the neck
  • Below, continues with the inferior mediastinum

  1. Lower end of trachea
  2. Oesophagus
  3. Thoracic duct
  4. Arteries and veins
    • Aortic arch
    • Innominate artery and veins
    • Part of carotid and Subclavian arteries
    • SVC
  5. Nerves
    • Phrenic nerve 
    • Vagus nerve
    • Left recurrent laryngeal nerve
  6. Lymph nodes
  7. Remnants of the thymus gland 

Anterior Mediastinum 
Bounded by….
  • Anteriorly by the sternum
  • Posteriorly by pericardium

  1. Part of the thymus (In children)
  2. Anterior mediastinal lymph nodes

Middle Mediastinum
Bounded by….
  • Anteriorly by the anterior mediastinum
  • Posteriorly by the posterior mediastinum

  1. Heart
  2. Great vessels 
  3. Phernic nerve 

Posterior Mediastinum
Bounded by….
  • Anteriorly by the pericardium
  • Posteriorly by lower border of T4 to T12
  • Above, continues with superior mediastinum
  • Below, lies the diaphragm 

  1. Oesophagus
  2. Thoracic duct
  3. Arteries and veins
    • Decending thoracic artery
    • Azygos vein
    • Hemiazygos vein
  4. Nerves 
    • Vagus nerve
    • Splanchnic nerves
  5. Mediastinal lymph nodes 

Importance of Angle of Louis
It is at the manubriosternal junction which corresponds with the plane of T4.
The following occurs at this level….
  1. Commencment and termination of arch of aorta
  2. Bifurcation of the trachea
  3. Divides the mediastinum into superior and inferior mediatinum
  4. Second costo-sternal joint
  5. Thoracic duct runs from right to left 
  6. Confluence of azygos vein with SVC
  7. Ligamentum arteriosum lies on this plane
Latest posts by Dr. Pasindu Suriapperuma (see all)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments