Our current diagnostic methods and specialized surgical skills still leave much to be desired in the results obtained by many of us in our present practice of medicine. One phase of this desire falls into the field of mediastinal tumors.
Much has been written regarding the diagnosis and surgical treatment of these tumors. The classical diagnostic techniques of clinical evaluation have been enhanced so greatly by the roentgenologist and modern laboratory facilities that the correct diagnosis can be made in approximately 80% of the cases preoperatively, as stated by Curreri and Gale.1 In the remaining 20%, namely those with confusing mediastinal shadows, accurate isotope techniques can dispel the confusion and actually guide the surgery. A single tracer study, or at most a sequence of two, will serve to divide all mediastinal tumors into three general groups: (1) thyroid, (2) fastgrowing tumors, and (3) the relatively inactive masses, such as