A study of metastatic lesions of lymph nodes by fine needle aspiration cytology

Pratibha Meena, Ranu Tiwari Mishra


Background: FNAC is rapidly emerging as a useful tool in the diagnosis of metastatic lesion of lymph nodes. FNAC not only confirms or excludes metastasis in a case of a known primary malignancy but, also, in most cases helps to detect occult primary malignancy. Aim of present study was to determine the frequency of metastatic lesions of lymph nodes.

Methods: This retrospective study was done of all metastatic lymph node lesions reported on FNAC, in the department of pathology, NSCB medical college, Jabalpur from January 2014 to December 2014 (One Year).

Results: Total cases of 400 lymph node aspiration were done, of which 120 cases were clinically suspicious of metastasis. Cytology results were positive for metastasis in 97 cases (80.8%). The most common site of aspiration was cervical lymph nodes (75.2%). Maximum number of cases of metastasis were in 51-60 years age group with male predominance (male:female 2.6:1). The most common metastasis was squamous cell carcinoma seen in 74 cases (76.2%), followed by metastatic mammary carcinoma (10.3%), remaining were adenocarcinoma, undifferentiated carcinoma, malignant melanoma, papillary thyroid carcinoma and transitional cell carcinoma.

Conclusions: FNAC is a rapid, safe and cost-effective technique. It gives early and accurate results with minimal invasion and reduces the need for surgical biopsies, thus saves cost and time to reach the final diagnosis. It is therefore concluded that FNAC is a useful tool in diagnosing metastatic lesions of lymph nodes with a good certainty.


Fine needle aspiration cytology, Lymphadenopathy, Metastasis, Squamous cell carcinoma

Full Text:



Kochhar AK, Duggal G, Singh K, Kochhar SK. Spectrum of cytological findings in patients with lymphadenopathy in rural population of South Haryana, India-experience in a tertiary care hospital. Internet J Pathol. 2012;13(2):8.

Malakar D, Jajoo IL, Swarup K, Gupta OP, Jain AP, Poflee VW. A clinical evaluation of fine needle aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of lymphadenopathy. Ind J Tub. 1991;38:17-9.

Ghartimagar D, Ghosh A, Ranabhat S, Shrestha MK, Narasimhan R, Talwar OP. Utility of fine needle aspiration cytology in metastatic lymph nodes. J Pathol Nepal. 2011;1(2):92-5.

Giri S, Singh K. Role of fine needle aspiration cytology in evaluation of patients with superficial lymphadenopathy. Int J Biol Med Res. 2012;3(4):2475-9.

Ustun M, Risberg B, Davidson B, Berner A. Cystic change in metastatic lymph nodes: a common diagnostic pitfall in fine-needle aspiration cytology. Diagn Cytopathol. 2002;27:387-92.

Kusum V, Mandal S, Kapila K. Cystic change in lymph nodes with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. Acta Cytol. 1995;39:478-80.

Patel MM, Italiya SL, Dhandha ZB, Dudhat RB, Kaptan KR, Shah MB, et al. Study of metastasis in lymph node by fine needle aspiration cytology: our institutional experience. Int J Res Med Sci. 2013;1:451-4.

Khajuria R, Goswami KC, Singh K, Dubey VK. Pattern of lymphadenopathy on fine needle aspiration cytology in Jammu. J K Sci. 2006;8(3).

Pandav AB, Patil PP, Lanjewar DN. Cervical lymphadenopathy- diagnosis by F.N.A.C., a study of 219 cases. Asian J Med Res. 2012;1(3):79-83.

Wilkinson AR, Mahore SD, Maimoon SA. FNAC in the diagnosis of lymph node malignancies: A simple and sensitive tool. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol. 2012;33(1).