Q:

What does "cardiomediastinal" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

Cardiomediastinal refers to the mediastinum, which is the area between the lungs that contains the heart, esophagus and thymus. The term cardiomediastinal is an adjective that references bodily functions and disorders related to the heart and surrounding tissue.

Continue Reading
What does "cardiomediastinal" mean?
Credit: Tetra Images Getty Images

Full Answer

View the cardiomediastinal silhouette by x-ray or other medical imaging technique. It is important for radiologists to understand the physiology of the mediastinum for accurate diagnosis of abnormalities.

The mediastinum is comprised of three different regions. The anterior region is made up of blood vessels and lymph nodes. The middle region contains the heart. The posterior region has the esophagus.

If the cardiomediastinal silhouette is larger than expected, it is possibly due to cardiomegaly, which is an enlargement of the heart. Cardiomegaly is caused by a genetic inheritance or by high blood pressure.

Another cause of cardiomediastinal enlargement is pericardial effusion, a condition in which excess fluid enters the tissue surrounding the heart muscle. Pericardial effusion could be a sign of serious disease, including cancer, heart attack or trauma to the heart wall. It might also signify a viral inflammation of the heart tissue known as pericarditis. The best methods for detecting this condition include a chest x-ray of the cardiomediastinal silhouette and an echocardiogram, or ultrasound, of the heart.

Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What conditions do pulmonary doctors treat?

    A:

    Pulmonologists specialize in diagnosing and treating respiratory ailments and conditions affecting the lungs and other internal organs associated with lung function, such as the heart, upper respiratory tract and bronchial tubes, explains Asthma & Allergy Associates. They typically treat asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer, emphysema and complex chest infections. They also treat sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does a chest x-ray show?

    A:

    A chest X-ray shows the lungs, heart, blood vessels and other structures inside the chest. If a person's chest X-ray is normal, the ribs and spine appear light and the air-filled lungs appear dark, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a typical checklist for physical exams?

    A:

    During a physical exam, the doctor typically reviews the patient’s health history and checks vital signs, general appearance and the health of his body organs such as the heart, lungs, head and neck and skin, according to WebMD. The doctor also orders laboratory tests on the patient’s urine, stool and blood, and then performs additional specialized tests based on the patient’s gender.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens during a standard medical exam?

    A:

    During a standard medical exam, the physician records vital signs, listens to the heart and lungs, looks in the patient's mouth, physically feels the abdomen, and tests reflexes, according to WebMD. The physician also takes a health history and assesses the patient's general physical appearance. If the patient is male, the physician also examines external genitals and examines the prostate rectally. If the patient is female, the doctor checks the breasts and does a pelvic exam.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore