Anatomy of the mediastinum

Anatomy of the mediastinum

The mediastinum is located centrally within the thorax between the pleural cavities laterally, the sternum anteriorly, the spine posteriorly, the thoracic inlet superiorly, and the diaphragm inferiorly. It is usually divided into anterior, middle, and posterior compartments to help categorize tumors and diseases by their site of origin and location. Processes that arise in these different compartments are generally related to the anatomic structures located within the compartments.