Fine needle aspiration cytology in head and neck swellings: a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure

Himanshu Shekhar, Ashmeet Kaur, Pallav Agrawal, Aruna Pancharia, Poojaba Jadeja


Background: Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is a very simple, quick, inexpensive and minimally invasive technique used to diagnose different types of swellings like lymph node, thyroid, soft tissue and salivary glands in head and neck region. These swellings frequently encountered in general practice. It may be inflammatory, reactive, benign or malignant lesion. The objective was to assess the frequency and incidence of different sites, age, sex and distribution of reactive, benign and malignant lesion.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted at Geetanjali Medical College & Hospital, from January 2014 to August 2014.Fineneedle aspiration diagnosis was correlated with details of relevant clinical findings and investigations. Patients aged between 1 and 75 years were included in the study. A total of 200 patients were enrolled in the study with their name, age, sex, profession, address and contact.

Results: Out of 200 fineneedle aspiration procedures 42% were of lymph node, 18.5% were of thyroid, 15.5% from salivary gland, 8% from soft tissue, scalp and forehead swellings and 5.5% from lips and oral cavity lesion. Lymphnodes were the commonest organ involved in which reactive were 16% and 15% granulomatous lesion. There were 2.5% cases of non specific inflammatory lesion from lymph nodes.

Conclusions: Our study found that FNAC is simple, quick, inexpensive and minimally invasive technique to diagnose different types of head and neck swellings. It could differentiate the infective and benign process from neoplastic one and avoids unnecessary surgeries and expenses.



Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC), Head and neck swellings, Lymph node, Prospective study

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