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.