Malignant mediastinal mass in children: A single institutional experience from a developing country

Naureen Mushtaq, Muhammad Matloob Alam, Scherherzade Aslam, Zehra Fadoo, Anwar-ul-Haq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the clinical spectrum and management outcomes of paediatric patients with modiastinal mass in a Karachi hospital. Methods: Medical records of all cases of mediastinal masses in children diagnosed and treated between January 2005 and December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the mode of presentation, histopathological diagnosis, radiologic findings and management outcomes at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. SPSS 19 was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 37 patients of mediastinal masses were identified, and malignancy was found in 32(86%) cases. The median age at diagnosis was 9 years (interquartile range: 4.7 years). Lymphoma 23 (72%) and leukaemia 8 (25%) were the most common causes of mediastinal mass. Nonspecific symptoms such as fever 26 (81%), cough 15 (47%) and dyspnoea 12 (37%) constituted the most commonly presenting complaints. Overall, 22 (68.7%) patients underwent surgical procedures (complete/partial resection of mass); local lymph node biopsy was performed in 5 (15.6%) cases; and computed tomography or ultrasound-guided biopsy was done in 2 (5.4%) patients. Besides, 27 (84.4%) patients were admitted to paediatric intensive care unit for supportive care, and assisted ventilation was required in 20 (62.5%) patients. The mean length of hospital stay was 9.3±6 days. None of the patients died due to complications related to mediastinal mass or diagnostic procedure. Conclusions: Although mortality rate has reduced significantly with refinements in the management protocols, but a high index of suspicion and comprehensive multidisciplinary approach is crucial to improve the morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-389
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Children
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Mediastinal mass


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