Benign lesions of the mediastinum: A review with emphasis on cytology and small biopsy specimens

Brian D. Stewart, Christopher J. VandenBussche, Marino E. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review focuses on the diagnosis of select benign processes, ranging from reactive entities to heterotopic tissues to neoplasms, which may occur in the mediastinum. Currently, the mediastinum can be evaluated and biopsied with endoscopic procedures. Therefore, cytopathology specimens, fine needle aspirations, and small biopsies play an important role in the diagnosis of these lesions. In this review, an emphasis is given to relevant clinical presentations, histologic and cytologic findings, differential diagnoses, ancillary testing, and interpretation. Pitfalls are reviewed and discussed in each section. It is important for both surgical pathologists and cytopathologists to be familiar with these entities and their cytologic and histologic features that may be helpful in reaching a diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Diagnostic Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bronchogenic cyst
  • Duplication cyst
  • Ectopic parathyroid
  • Ectopic salivary gland
  • Ectopic sebaceous
  • Ectopic thyroid
  • Foregut cyst
  • Hemangioma
  • Lymphangioma
  • Mediastinum
  • Müllerian cyst
  • Paraganglioma
  • Parathyroid
  • Pericardial cyst
  • Solitary fibrous tumor
  • Thymolipoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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