QS Study

Mediastinal Syndrome

Compression of mediastinal structures by any growth (tumor) gives rise to a group of symptoms known as “mediastinal syndrome”. Mediastinal syndromes are a group of disorders involving the anatomical structures of the mediastinum. It is a set of symptoms and signs resulting from the compression of one or more mediastinum organs due to increased size (tumoral, inflammatory or of other nature) of organs that constitute it, or by compression generated by the growth of surrounding structures.

It is a complex syndrome causes the followings –

  1. Obstruction of superior vena cava gives rise to engorgement of veins in the upper half of the body.
  2. Pressure over the trachea causes dysphonia and cough.
  3. Pressure on the oesophagus causes dysphagia.
  4. Pressure on the left recurrent laryngeal nerve gives rise hoarseness of the voice.
  5. Pressure on the phrenic nerve causes paralysis of the diaphragm on that side.
  6. Pressure on the intercostal nerve gives rise to pain in the area supplied by them.
  7. Pressure on the vertebral column may cause erosion of the vertebral column.

The common causes of the mediastinal syndrome are bronchogenic carcinoma. Hodgkin’s disease-causing enlargement of mediastinal lymph nodes, aneurysm of the aorta and others.

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