Friday, September 14, 2012

Cystic and Solid Lesions of the Cardiophrenic Space

The cardiophrenic space is located at the base of the mediastinum and is defined by the base of the heart, the diaphragm, and the chest wall. Normally, this space is occupied by fat although both benign and malignant lesions can be found in this location.

Cystic Lesions
  1. Pericardial cysts
    • benign
    • usually in the right cardiophrenic space
    • CT: well defined, smooth-walled cyst filled with simple fluid
    • MR: high signal intensity on T2WI
  2. Hydatid cyst
    • rare
    • may be a herniated hepatic hydatid cyst
    • CT: uni- or multilocular cyst with peripheral mural calcifications
    • MR: mother cyst (the matrix) is usually intermediate signal intensity on T1WI; daughter cysts are high signal intensity on T2WI
  3. Thymic tumors with cystic components
Solid Lesions
  1. Lymphadenopathy
    • > 8mm in short axis diameter is considered pathologic
    • lymphoma is most common cause
  2. Thymoma

Pineda V, Andreu J, Caceres J, et al. Lesions of the cardiophrenic space: findings at cross-sectional imaging. Radiographics 2007;27:19-32.

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