Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Mediastinoscopy is an invasive procedure that is used in the diagnosis of mediastinal diseases and in staging lung cancer. Tumor cell seeding during mediastinoscopy along the mediastinum and the incision line is a very rare complication. This study aimed to test the safety of mediastinoscopy in terms of tumor seeding by cytological evaluation of mediastinal lavage samples taken before and after biopsy. Materials and methods: The patients who underwent mediastinoscopy in our hospital between 2011 and 2014 were studied prospectively. Seventy-three patients with a diagnosis of lung or mediastinal malignancy were included in the study. All patients underwent classical cervical mediastinoscopy and mediastinal lavages were taken before and after the biopsy. Both lavage samples were sent to the pathology department in syringes for malignant cell cytology screening. Results: The results of the histopathological examinations of lymph node biopsies were reactive in 25 patients and positive for malignancy in 48 patients. In 2 of 48 patients whose lymph nodes were reported to be positive for malignancy, the mediastinal lavage sample was reported to be positive for malignancy after biopsy, although it was negative preoperatively. In two patients, both the pre- and postbiopsy lavage samples were reported to be positive for malignancy. Conclusion: While performing dissection and biopsy during mediastinoscopy, tumor seeding into the mediastinum may occur. Long follow-up periods and large patient series are needed to determine how cytopathological examination of both fluids would affect the prognosis.


Mediastinoscopy, lavage, cytology

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