A cytological diagnosis is essential for a definitive diagnosis in children who have paratracheal lesions. Thirteen pediatric patients were biopsied using cervical mediastinoscopy. Age, gender, preoperative diagnosis, and postoperative biopsy results and complications were reviewed. Five patients had mediastinal lesions residuing or recurring after chemotherapy for either Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2 of these patients, the diagnosis was recurrent disease. Among the 8 patients presenting with a paratracheal mass or enlarged lymph nodes, histopathologic diagnosis showed tuberculosis in 3 children, Hodgkin disease in 2 children, and histiocytosis X and non-Hodgkin lymphoma 1 patient in each. This study shows that cervical mediastinoscopy gave 100% correct diagnosis for mediastinal residual malignancies or uncommon forms of mycobacterium tuberculosis with paratracheal masses.