Objectives: Congenital cysts of the mediastinum are an uncommon but important diagnostic group, representing 12 to 30% of all mediastinal masses. The purpose of this study was to review our institutional experience with congenital cysts of the mediastinum, emphasizing the clinical spectrum of the disease.
Design: Retrospective study.
Objectives: University hospital unit of general thoracic surgery.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 105 patients with cysts of the mediastinum (50 male and 55 female patients) who comprised 13.0% of mediastinal masses over the past 50 years.
Results: There were 10 pediatric patients (< 15 years old) and 95 adult patients. The prevalence of cysts in the adult populations was higher than that in children (14.1% vs 7.7%, p < 0.05). There were 47 bronchogenic cysts, 30 thymic cysts, 12 pericardial cysts, 7 pleural cysts, 4 esophageal duplications, 2 meningoceles, 1 thoracic duct cyst, and 2 others. MRI has become a useful tool for providing supplemental data in combination with CT. Overall, 38 patients (36.2%) with mediastinal cysts were symptomatic, including 39.2% with bronchogenic/esophageal cysts, 40% with thymic cysts, and 15.8% with pericardial/pleural cysts. One hundred patients had complete resection of their masses, 3 patients with pericardial diverticulum received a thoracoscopic fenestration without mortality, and 2 patients refused surgery.
Conclusion: Early recognition of these relatively rare lesions would lead to immediate and appropriate surgical intervention. Early surgical intervention is also important because definitive histologic diagnosis can only be established by means of surgical extirpation.