Correlation of fine needle aspiration cytology lymph node with histopathological diagnosis

Mohan Lal Gupta, Kaustubh Singh


Background: Lymphadenopathy is very common presenting symptoms. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is used to evaluate the nature of the lesion. Etiology of lymphadenopathy in head and neck region vary from benign reactive hyperplasia to tubercular granulomatous lesion to malignancy. The aim of present study was to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value in tuberculosis and metastatic carcinoma.

Methods: A total of 80 patients out of 200 patients who underwent FNAC were evaluated by histopathological examination for correlation. Aspiration smears and histopathological slides were evaluated and results were calculated for sensitivity, specificity and predictive value.

Results: Reactive lymphadenitis was seen in 40 patients followed by tubercular granulomatous lymphadenitis in 20 patients and malignant lesions in 20 patients. Histology revealed 18 patients of tubercular lymphadenitis, 43 of reactive changes, 12 of metastasis in lymph nodes and 7 of lymphomas. Correlating the findings, we could achieve 100% sensitivity and 96.7% specificity for tubercular lymphadenopathy and for metastatic it was 98.5% and 100% respectively.

Conclusions: We have found FNAC a satisfactory tool in the diagnosis of tubercular and malignant lymphadenopathy. FNAC used in conjunction with clinical findings, radiological and laboratory investigations can be a cost effective method for the diagnosis of lymphadenopathy.


FNAC, Lymphadenopathy, Metastatic carcinoma, Tubercular lymphadenitis

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