Imaging

Anterior Mediastinal Lymphoma

Preliminary Diagnosis: Anterior Mediastinal Lymphoma

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

Plain radiography of the chest, PA and lateral views

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of anterior mediastinal lymphoma.

Advantages

  • Highly portable and fast imaging modality

  • Relatively inexpensive imaging modality

  • Exposes patients to minimal ionizing radiation

Disadvantages

  • Low sensitivity detailing the extent of the anterior mediastinal abnormality

  • Less sensitive and specific than other imaging modalities in detecting and detailing any underlying primary process or secondary complication

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

No specific contraindications to plain radiography exist.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

CT scanning of the chest with IV contrast.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of anterior mediastinal lymphoma.

CT scanning of the chest with IV contrast

Advantages

  • CT scanning of the chest with IV contrast is the gold standard in evaluating anterior mediastinal pathology.

  • More adept in detailing the type and extent of the anterior mediastinal abnormality.

  • More sensitive and specific in characterizing, detailing, and following the anterior mediastinal pathology than plain radiography

  • CT scanning exposes patients to larger amounts of ionizing radiation compared with plain radiography.

  • CT scanning is less portable and more expensive than plain radiography.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

CT scanning may be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

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