Posterior mediastinum

The posterior mediastinum is an artificial space of the mediastinum divided from the remainder of the extra-pleural intrathoracic cavity by arbitrary lines. It forms part of the inferior mediastinum.

Gross anatomy


It is continuous with the retropharyngeal space via the posterior part of the superior mediastinum.

  • anteriorly: bifurcation of trachea, pulmonary vessels, pericardium and posterior fibres of the diaphragm
  • posteriorly: T4-T12 thoracic vertebrae
  • laterally: mediastinal pleura

Related Pathology

See main article: differential for a posterior mediastinal mass.

Thoracic anatomy
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Article information

rID: 30563
System: Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Postvascular space

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: mediastinal anatomy: Gray's anatomy illustration
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    Figure 2: mediastinum (Gray's illustration)
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