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The role of fine-needle aspiration cytology in children with persistent or suspicious lymphadenopathy.

Research paper by L L van de Schoot, D C DC Aronson, H H Behrendt, J J Bras

Indexed on: 11 Jan '01Published on: 11 Jan '01Published in: Journal of Pediatric Surgery



Abstract

The aim of this study was (1) To determine the value of fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in children with persistent or suspicious peripheral lymphadenopathy and (2) to analyze whether a history of previous malignancy influenced the accuracy of FNAC.A retrospective study in an Academic Children's Hospital of 73 FNACs of peripheral lymph nodes in 64 patients (35 boys and 29 girls; median age, 9 years; range, 15 months to 20 years) was performed between 1992 and 1997. Eleven patients were excluded because aspirated material appeared inadequate. Outcome was compared with results of subsequent surgical biopsies, clinical follow-up, or both. Patients were divided into group A "de novo" lymphadenopathy (n = 39) and group B lymphadenopathy and a history of previous malignancy (n = 23).Group A: FNAC showed a benign diagnosis in 25 cases, a malignancy in 13, and was inconclusive in 1. Outcome was false-negative in 2 and false-positive in 1. Sensitivity and specificity were 86% and 96%, respectively. FNAC helped avoid additional surgical procedures in 27 cases (61%). However, if FNAC showed malignant lymphoma, open biopsy was inevitable (8 of 13) to establish proper classification. Group B: FNAC showed a benign diagnosis in 10 cases and a malignancy in 13. Outcome was false-negative in 1, and false-positive in 1. Sensitivity and specificity were 92% and 90%, respectively. FNAC helped avoid additional surgical diagnostic procedures in 25 cases (86%).(1) Fine-needle aspiration cytology is a rapid, simple and accurate diagnostic procedure to differentiate between benign and malignant peripheral lymphadenopathy in children. FNAC can avoid open biopsy in at least 60% of cases. (2) A history of previous malignant disease does not influence the accuracy of the test.