Spectrum of cytological findings in patients with superficial lymphadenopathy: An experiential status in a Nigerian Teaching hospital

  • GD Forae
  • CC Nwafor


Superficial lymphadenopathy ranked among the most common clinical findings encountered in medical practice. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is a veritable tool for the assessment and diagnosis of superficial lymph node enlargement. In this 7 years study a total of 146 patients with superficial lymphadenopathy were referred from the out patients clinics of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH) and other hospitals within the Benin-City metropolis and its environs. FNAC was performed using variable sizes of needle ranging from 21 to 25-gauge attached to
10 or 20mls syringe with a franzen handle. In each procedure, an average of 2 to 3 passes is usually performed and aspirated materials smeared into 4 slides. Slides were stained with Papanicolaou stain, May Grunward Giemsa (MGG) stain and Diff Quick stain. Of the 146 FNAC performed, 51 cases (34.9%) occurred in the paediatric and adolescent age groups. Twenty seven cases (18.5%) found in patients of the middle age group (40-59) years. Nine patients (6.2%) occurred between 60-79 years. The peak age incidence of the patients was in the 2nd decade of life  constituting (n=32; 21.9%). The most common anatomic site of  lymphadenopathy was the cervical group of lymph nodes accounting for (n=56; 32.9%). Nonspecific lymphadenitis was the most common lesion constituting (n=53; 36.3%). Reactive hyperplasia was (n=28; 19.2%)
while granulomatous inflammation was (n=22; 15.1%). Metastatic carcinoma and lymphoma constituted (n=15; 10.3%) and (n=16; 11%) respectively. Fine needle aspiration cytology is a veritable tool in the diagnosis of superficial lymphadenopathy. This can be recommended as the first line of investigation in the diagnosis of lymph node enlargement for patients who may not be able to afford the cost of surgery and biopsy in our locality.

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