Cytomorphology of head and neck lesions: A study in tertiary care hospital

Rathore H, Jethani N, Pachori G, Bansod P, Ratnawat Kalpana


Head and neck swellings are the most common and challenging lesions in the field of FNAC diagnosis. FNAC is simple, inexpensive and fairly accurate alternative to the time consuming, complicated and invasive excision biopsy. The study was carried out to access the role of FNAC in diagnosing various head and neck lesions. This prospective study was undertaken on palpable head and neck lesions in all age groups for the duration of 9 months from September, 2013 to May, 2014 in Pathology Department of tertiary care hospital. Total 756 cases were evaluated in the cytopathology section and aspiration was done using 10 ml syringe and 22-26 gauge needles. The results of material positivity were compared with histopathology material obtained in follow-up. Out of the total 756 patients, 376 were males and 380 were females. Overall male to female ratio was 1:1. Head and neck swelling were present most frequently in the third decade. Lymph node swellings were the most common lesion (64.3%), followed by thyroid (17.5%), skin and soft tissue (13.5%) and salivary gland swellings were least common (4.8%). Non - neoplastic lesions were the commonest (67.3%) followed by malignant lesions (13.1%). Histopathological correlation was performed in 40 cases. We concluded that FNAC is a reliable, cost effective, convenient and easily accessible method as the best initial work up and management of head and neck lesions. In expert hands accompanied by good clinical information, proper history and relevant laboratory investigation the results are even better.


Keywords: Fine needle aspiration, Cytology, Histopathology, Head and neck region

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