Thoracic lymph node stations

Thoracic lymph nodes are divided into 14 stations as proposed by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 1, principally in the context of oncologic staging.

Station 1
  • highest mediastinal nodes: low cervical, supraclavicular, and sternal notch nodes
Station 2
  • 2R: upper paratracheal right
  • 2L: upper paratracheal left

The upper paratracheal lymph nodes lie inferior and superior to the transverse planes demarcated by where the left brachiocephalic vein crosses the trachea and upper margin of the aortic arch respectively.

Station 3
  • 3A: prevascular (anterior to the great vessels)
  • 3P: retrotracheal (posterior to the trachea)
Station 4
  • 4R: lower paratracheal right
  • 4L: lower paratracheal left

The lower paratracheal lymph nodes lie inferior to the upper border of the aortic arch and superior to the upper border of the ipsilateral upper lobe bronchus.

    Station 5
    • subaortic: in the aortopulmonary window
    Station 6
    • para-aortic (ascending aorta or phrenic): lateral to the ascending aorta and aortic arch
    Station 7
    • subcarinal: below the tracheal carina
    Station 8
    • para-oesophageal: below carina, adjacent to the oesophagus 

    Station 9
    • pulmonary ligament
    Station 10
    • hilar
    Station 11
    • interlobar
    Station 12
    • lobar
    Station 13
    • segmental
    Station 14
    • subsegmental

    For the purpose of prognostic analyses these stations have also been grouped into several zones 1:

    • supraclavicular zone: station 1
    • upper zone: station 2-4
    • AP zone: station 5-6
    • subcarinal zone: station 7
    • lower zone: station 8-9
    • hilar/intralobar zone: station 10-11
    • peripheral zone: station 12-14

    Thoracic anatomy
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    Article Information

    rID: 35392
    System: Chest
    Section: Anatomy
    Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
    • Thoracic lymph nodes
    • Thoracic lymph node
    • Thoracic lymph node classification
    • Thoracic lymph nodes classification
    • Thoracic lymph node levels
    • Mediastinal lymph node stations

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