Fine needle aspiration biopsy cytology as an adjunct in the diagnosis of childhood sarcoidosis

P E Wakely, J F Silverman, C T Holbrook, R P Fairman, C W Daeschner, V V Joshi
Pediatric Pulmonology 1992, 13 (2): 117-20
Fine needle aspiration biopsy cytology performed in three children with sarcoidosis expedited clinical investigation and diagnosis of their disease. Each patient had a different clinical presentation; in two of them lymphoma was part of the initial differential diagnosis. Aspiration cytology in all cases revealed collections of epithelioid histiocytes, and multinucleate foreign body-type giant cells, without accompanying necrosis or acute inflammation. A diagnosis of non-caseating granulomas consistent with sarcoidosis was made in all aspirates. Special stains for identification of organisms performed on the smears of one case, and culture of aspirate material from one case were negative. Subsequent serum angiotensin converting enzyme levels in all patients were elevated. Chest x-ray films in all patients showed mediastinal and hilar lymphadenopathy. One patient had an interstitial pulmonary infiltrate. All patients responded to steroid therapy. Fine needle aspiration biopsy can be a useful diagnostic tool in the evaluation of children with suspected sarcoidosis.

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