Azygo-esophageal recess deviation

Last revised by Dr Derek Smith on 04 Jun 2018

The azygoesophageal recess (AER) is formed by the interface between the right lung and the mediastinal reflection of the azygos vein and oesphagus. The line has a variable appearance:

  • in its upper third, it deviates to the right, where it may either be straight or concave relative to the right lung. In children and young adults, it can be convex relative to the right lung 1
  • in its middle third, the AER is usually straight, but may be slightly convex relative to the right lung near the right pulmonary veins.
  • finally, in its lower third, the line is usually straight 1

The AER may be deviated by conditions that affect the middle or posterior mediastinal compartments 2:

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