Dr. Pepe’s Diploma Casebook 152 – All you need to know to interpret a chest radiograph – Sixth Session – SOLVED

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new year and a new webinar. The leading images of the webinar six belong to a 73-year-old woman with dyspnea and chest pain. What do you see?

Diagnosis:

1. Intrathoracic goiter
2. Dilated esophagus
3. Aortic aneurysm
4. Any of the above

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Findings: PA radiograph shows widening of the right superior mediastinum (A, arrow), which in the lateral view is located behind the trachea (B, arrows). The initial impression is of an upper middle mediastinal mass. The first diagnosis that come to mind is a goiter.

However, looking downward in the PA view, bulging of the azygo-esophageal line is evident (A, red arrow). In the lateral view there is opacification of the retrocardiac space (B, red arrow). Therefore, we are dealing with a lesion that extends along the middle mediastinum from top to bottom. The findings point to a dilated esophagus.

Esophagogram was unremarkable. Coronal and sagittal CT shows a cystic tubular mass extending along the posterior wall of the esophagus (C-D, arrows).

Final diagnosis: cystic lymphangioma of mediastinum
 
This is a difficult case and I didn’t expect you to make the diagnosis. But I believe that you should have noticed the bulging of the azygo-esophageal line in the PA view and the occupation of the retrocardiac space in the lateral view, suggesting a dilated esophagus as the most likely diagnosis.
 
Congratulations to MG who was the first to see the findings.
 
Teaching point: Remember that an opacity that goes from top to bottom in the middle mediastinum should suggest a dilated esophagus or an esophagus-related process