What Does “cardiomediastinal” Mean?

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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.

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.