What is Ganglioneuroma of the Mediastinum?Mediastinal ganglioneuroma is a rare type of benign (non-cancerous) tumour originating from the peripheral nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous system. It mainly affects adolescents and young adults. Although mediastinal ganglioneuroma is a benign tumour, large tumours can compress underlying vital organs, which can cause complications.
What is a Sympathetic Nervous System?The sympathetic nervous system connects the brain with all the internal organs of the body with nerves extending from the spinal cord and innervating these organs. The sympathetic nervous system works in a fight-and-flight by increasing the heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles of the arms and legs, and decreasing blood flow to the skin.
What is Mediastinum?The mediastinum is a space in the thorax that contains the heart, thymus gland, portions of the esophagus trachea, and other structures.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause; however, some hereditary and genetic mutations are thought to be responsible for the excessive division or multiplication of peripheral neuronal cells, which can lead to ganglioneuroma of the mediastinum.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain in the back
- Pain in the chest
- Difficulty in breathing
- Persistent dry cough
- Persistent fatigue (tiredness)
- In advanced stages, the enlargement of the lymph nodes can also occur
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are;
- Imaging techniques like Chest X-ray, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan to see the site, size, and extent of the tumour.
- Tumour biopsy (tumour biopsy to remove a small sample of tissue for histopathological examination)
- Sputum cytology
- USG guided fine needle aspiration cytology