Widened mediastinum

Widened mediastinum is a mediastinum with a measured width greater than 8 cm on PA chest X-ray.

Associated conditions

A widened mediastinum can be indicative of several important pathologies, such as aortic aneurysm and hilar lymphadenopathy.

This is also a classic finding associated with inhalational anthrax. A widened mediastinum was found in 7 of the first 10 victims infected by anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) in 2001.

Widened mediastinum is also found in patients with esophageal rupture, mediastinal mass, or pericardial effusion.


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