Mediastinal tumors in children: Experience with 196 cases

Jay L. Grosfeld, Michael A. Skinner, Frederick J. Rescorla, Karen W. West, L. R. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Background: Mediastinal masses are relatively common in infants and children. These lesions are often neoplastic in origin and have a high risk of malignancy. Methods: This report concerns 196 infants and children with mediastinal tumors. Fifty-five cases (28%) were benign, and 141 (72%) were malignant. Diagnosis included Hodgkin's disease (47), neuroblastoma (46), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (37), teratoma (18), ganglioneuroma (14), cystic hygroma (11), Schwannoma (five), germ-cell tumors (three), lipoma (three), thymic tumor (three), malignant histiocytosis (two), neurofibroma (two), mesenchymal sarcoma (one), rhabdomyosarcoma (one), peripheral neuroectodermal tumor (one), hamartoma (one), and hemangioma (one). Diagnoses were usually made by assessing the patient's age, radiologic evidence of tumor location, the presence of calcium in the tumor, and the presence of tumor markers (α-fetoprotein, vanillmandelic acid, human chorionic gonadotropin). Diagnoses were verified by histologic evaluation. Resection was the only treatment for benign tumors. Biopsy and chemotherapy (and/or radiation) were employed for lymphoid tumors, and resection and adjuvant therapy were used for other solid malignancies. Results: Survival was achieved in 53 of 55 (96.3%) patients with benign tumors and 105 of 141 (74.4%) patients with malignant tumors. Conclusions: Seventy-two percent of mediastinal tumors in this study were malignant. Early diagnosis followed by biopsy and chemotherapy for lymphoid tumors or resection of nonlymphoid tumors along with aggressive adjuvant therapy result in high survival rates (74.4%). Children with benign tumors almost always survive (96.3%) after resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • Mediastinal tumors
  • Pediatric oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mediastinal tumors in children: Experience with 196 cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this