Background and Objective: Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is well accepted as a useful diagnostic technique in the management of adult patients with head and neck lumps. But, until recently, very few reports have been obtained regarding the role of FNAC in nonthyroidal neck masses in children. Hence, the objective of our study was to determine the diagnostic value of fine needle aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of paediatric nonthyroidalneck masses.
Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at the Department of Pathology,Dr.BCRoyPGIPSKolkata from January2012 to December 2012. Hundred patients with non-thyroidal neck masses fulfilling theinclusion criteria were included in the study. Fine needle aspirations were performed by Leishman-Giemsa staining.
Results: The most common nonneoplastic neck swelling seen in children were an enlarged lymph node due to inflammation 38(42.2%),i.e., reactive lymphadenitis. Others were TB lymphadenitis25(27.8%), nonTB granulomatous lymphadenitis 2(2.22%), chr.sialadenitis 2(2.22%), branchial cyst 4(4.44%) and epidermal cyst 3(3.33%) cases.
Overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of FNAC in our cases are 93.06%, 72.22%, 93.06% and 72.22%.
Conclusion:FNA is a valuable diagnostic tool in the management of children with the clinical presentation of a suspicious neck mass. The technique reduces the need for more invasive and costly procedures like open biopsy.