Ex-USMLE Forums Staff
Image from wikimedia commons public domain
Looking at the illustration above help us identify the important relations of the structures in the posterior mediastinum.
Here's some important points:
- The sympathetic trunks are paravertebral and they are not in the posterior mediastinum.
- The Left vagus gives anterior esophageal plexus while the right vagus give posterior esophageal plexus.
- The thoracic duct ascends just to the left and behind the esophagus and will eventually drain into the junction of the left subclavien vein and left internal jugular vein.
- The azygous vein is on the right side and will eventually pour into the superior vena cava.