Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is a useful and less invasive procedure for the definitive diagnosis of mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. However, infectious complications can occur after EBUS-TBNA, although they are extremely rare. Case presentation: A 66-year-old man with necrotic and swollen lower paratracheal lymph nodes underwent EBUS-TBNA. A mediastinal abscess developed 9 days post-procedure. Surgical drainage and debridement of the abscess were performed along with lymph node biopsy followed by daily washing of the thoracic cavity. Surgical treatment was effective, leading to remission of the abscess. Biopsy revealed that the tumor was squamous cell carcinoma with no radiologically detected cancer elsewhere in the body. Mediastinal lung cancer was thus confirmed. Subsequent chemoradiotherapy led to the remission of the tumor. Conclusions: Mediastinitis after EBUS-TBNA is rare but should be considered, particularly if the target lymph nodes are necrotic. Mediastinitis can lead to serious and rapid deterioration of the patient's condition, for which surgical intervention is the treatment of choice.
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