Azygoesophageal recess: Normal CT appearance in children

S. W. Fitzgerald*, James S Donaldson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The azygoesophageal recess is the interface of the subcarinal portion of the mediastinum and the right lower lobe. The configuration of the recess on CT can be used as a sensitive indicator of abnormality in the mediastinum. In normal adults the recess is concave. A convex contour is a normal variant, particularly in young adults. The normal appearance of the azygoesophageal recess in children has not been studied. Accordingly, we reviewed chest CT examinations performed in 253 children ranging from 1 month to 20 years old. Forty patients were excluded from further analysis either because the recess could not be evaluated properly or because underlying disease caused the mediastinum to have an abnormal configuration. An age-related spectrum of normal configurations was observed in the remaining 213 patients. A convex or straight contour was found in 96% of children less than 3 years old. Scans of children 3-12 years old revealed a spectrum of configurations. The typical adult concave configuration was seen in 78% of adolescents more than 12 years old. Overall, in only 90 (42%) of 213 children in this study was a concave recess observed on CT. Our experience shows a convex azygoesophageal recess on CT should be considered the normal configuration in infants and young children. Recognition of this age-related variation is useful in the CT evaluation of the mediastinum in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1104
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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