Mediastinal Lymph Nodes - What are they Exactly?
Mediastinal lymph nodes are located in the mediastinum, the area in the chest between the lungs, which contains the heart, the windpipe and the esophagus. Lymph nodes are small bean like structures that are located throughout the body and are a part of the lymphatic system of the body. These lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes can be affected by lymphomas, a group of cancers of the lymphatic system.
The most common x-ray manifestation of Hodgkin’s disease is the enlargement of the Mediastinal lymph node specially anterior mediastinal lymph node enlargement. However, this does not mean that it is the only diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease. There could be other cause of the enlargement as well and to confirm it is necessary to go through a tissue diagnosis. A point worth noting is that, Hodgkin’s disease is a treatable, curable disease, if diagnosed at an early stage.
Sometimes, Hilar and mediastnal lymphadenopathy are the only radiological manifestation of metastatic disease from extrathoracic neoplasms.
According to a study, it was found that among the patients suffering three rare cases of cancer of unknown origin affecting the mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes, and who had gone through right mediastinal and hilar lymphadenectomy, were found to live longer than those on whom mediastinoscopy and lymph node biopsy, and medianosternotomy and mediastinal and right hilar lymphadenectomy, were performed.