Fine-needle aspiration cytology in tuberculous lymphadenitis of patients with and without HIV infection

Sujata Nayak, Shaila C Puranik, Sanjay D Deshmukh, Reeta Mani, Arvind V Bhore, Robert C Bollinger
Diagnostic Cytopathology 2004, 31 (4): 204-6
A study of the cytologic features and role of fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBL) of 21 patients with HIV (group 1) and 21 patients without HIV (group 2) infection was undertaken. Four cytologic patterns were observed, of which necrotizing lymphadenitis (42.9%) and necrotizing suppurative lymphadenitis (28.6%) were predominant in group 1 while necrotizing granulomatous lymphadenitis (47.7%) and granulomatous lymphadenitis (23.8%) were more common in group 2. No pattern was found specific for either group. Zeihl-Neelsen-stained cytology smears of group 1 showed a much higher percentage of positively (61.9%) and a higher density of acid-fast bacilli than group 2. Definitive diagnoses of TBL on FNAC could be provided in 61.9% of group 1 as against 9.5% of group 2. The need for culture or biopsy for definitive diagnosis was higher in group 2. In suspected TBL, diagnostic efficacy can be improved and the need for surgical biopsy reduced if material collected on FNA is also used for culture.

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