International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-012-1024-y Pages: 282-284

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology for diagnosis of cervical lymphadenopathy

1. Downstate Medical College of the State University of NY and Kings County Hospital Medical Center, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine

2. Downstate Medical College of the State University of NY and Kings County Hospital Medical Center, Division of Surgical Pathology

Correspondence to:
Albert S. Braverman
Tel: 1-718-270-2559
Fax: 1-718-270-1544
Email: abraverman@downstate.edu

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Abstract

Patients with cervical adenopathy suspicious for malignancy are often referred to the Otolaryngology Service for tissue diagnosis. Confirmation of nodal involvement by upper aero-digestive tract tumors (UADT) is best obtained by fine needle aspiration (FNA). Reported studies of FNA for lymphoma diagnosis have yielded conflicting results. Retrospective review of charts and pathology of 161 patients diagnosed with lymphomas yielded 53 patients with cervical adenopathy without apparent UADT. FNA’s were performed on 28, and were repeated nine times, for a total of 37. Eleven had Hodgkin’s disease and 17 other types of lymphomas. Seven of 37 specimens contained only blood; 15 contained lymphoid cells, nine of which were designated “reactive.” Lymphoid cells designated as “atypical” or “suspicious for lymphoma” were found in 13 of the 37 aspirates. Two were diagnostic of lymphoma. Lymphoma was confirmed by histopathologic specimens in all patients, obtained 0–941 days (median 15, mean 73 days) after initial FNA. In lymphoma patients with cervical lymphadenopathy, FNA does not usually suffice for, and often leads to significant delays in diagnosis.

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