THE HEART SHADOW IN THE MEDIASTINUM
On a chest radiograph, the central mediastinum area is occupied by alarge radio-opaque shadow termed the
central mediastinal shadow
which is the anatomical location of the
. If anyheart disease is suspected, it is very important to carefully examine itssize, position and shape. Enlargement of the heart shadow might indicatethe presence of a cardiac problem such as heart failure following amyocardial infarction. However, the heart shadow is variable in shapeeven in normal subjects, mainly due to the wide variation in body build of different people. Additionally, respiration will also affect the heart shadow.Using the image above as a key, examine the
border of the centralmediastinal shadow.