Seventeen histologically proved cases of primary mediastinal tumours were diagnosed in Iceland in 1956-70, during which period the average population was 180,000. Sixteen of these cases, seen at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Landspítalinn, Iceland, are analysed.
The patients' ages ranged from 1 to 59 years; 6 were males and 10 were females. Their symptoms are described. The commonest histological types were cysts (31·2%) followed by lesions of lymphatic origin (25%); 62·5% of the tumours were benign and 37·5% malignant. The commonest sites were the anterior and posterior compartments where 62·6% of the tumours were located. Radical excision was performed in 11 cases, partial excision in one case, and biopsy of the mediastinal tumour in five cases. There were no postoperative deaths. Further details of each case are given and the fates of the patients have been traced.
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