Mediastinal hemorrhage: An evaluation of radiographic manifestations

J. H. Woodring, F. K. Loh, R. J. Kryscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Eleven common radiographic signs of mediastinal hemorrhage were evaluated by two observers for the following three patient groups: normal subjects, patients with mediastinal hemorrhage and no arterial injury, and patients with major thoracic arterial injury. Supine chest radiographs were studied in all cases. Four major conclusions can be made based upon these findings. M/C ratio (mediastinal width to chest width), tracheal deviation, left hemothorax, paraspinal line widening, and aorto-pulmonary window opacification do not reliably separate these three groups of patients. The diagnosis of mediastinal hemorrhage may be made if the aortic contour is abnormal or if one of the following signs is positive: abnormal mediastinal width, apical cap, widening of the right paratracheal stripe, or deviation of the nasogastric tube. If either the right paratracheal stripe is widened or the nasogastric tube is deviated, the diagnosis of aortic rupture can be made with a 24% probability; if both signs are negative, there is a 98% probability that aortic rupture is absent. Due to interobserver variation, there is good agreement between observers for the following four signs only: transverse mediastinal width, tracheal deviation, nasogastric tube deviation, and right paratracheal stripe widening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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