Ann Thorac Surg 1999;67:581-590
© 1999 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
a Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Address reprint requests to Dr Shields, Northwestern University Medical School, 250 E. Superior St, Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60611-2950
Background. A case of a functioning mediastinal cyst is presented.
Methods. A comprehensive review of the literature found 93 patients in whom a parathyroid cyst or cysts extended into, or was completely contained within, the mediastinum. Including our patient, there were 46 men and 45 women, and the gender was not recorded in three.
Results. The cysts were located in the anterosuperior region in 56 patients, in the middle region of the mediastinum in 26, and in the anterior, prevascular region in 12. Thirty-nine patients had functioning cysts associated with hyperparathyroidism of varying severity; seven patients presented with a hypercalcemic crisis. Local symptomatology consisted of a neck mass, respiratory distress, and occasional dysphagia or chest pain. Recurrent laryngeal nerve paresis was present in nine patients, and innominate vein compression or thrombosis was present in two. The cysts in all but four patients were treated by open surgical excision; two were treated by thoracoscopy, and two patients only had fine-needle aspiration of the cyst. The cyst was excised via a cervical approach in 67 patients and by a thoracotomy or median sternotomy or a variation thereof in 23. There was no operative mortality and morbidity was minimal.
Conclusion. Surgical resection was successful in all and remains the treatment of choice for mediastinal parathyroid cysts.
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