Utility of fine-needle aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of HIV lymphadenopathy

Pooja K. Suresh, Shweta Poojary, Sridevi Hanganahalli Basavaiah, Jyoti R. Kini, Flora D. Lobo, Kausalya K. Sahu

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: India, being a developing country, harbors the third largest human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected population in the world, and HIV-associated lymphadenopathy is commonly encountered. HIV lymphadenopathy is more commonly generalized and pathology ranges from reactive lymphoid hyperplasia to infections like tuberculosis to neoplasms such as lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma. The study intended to assess the utility of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology in HIV lymphadenopathy. Materials and Methods: A retrospective FNA slide review of HIV-infected cases with lymphadenopathy received over a period of 2 years in the cytopathology department was performed. The clinicopathological characteristics, absolute lymphocyte count (ALC), and CD4 counts were analyzed. Results: Seventy-nine lymph node aspirates were received from HIV patients over 2 years. The mean age at presentation was 39 years with a male:female ratio of 2.4:1. Cervical lymph nodes (62%) were more commonly affected. Tuberculous lymphadenitis was the commonest lesion (41.8%), followed by reactive lymphadenitis (24%), nonspecific granulomatous lymphadenitis (14%), suppurative lymphadenitis (8%), cryptococcal lymphadenitis (2%), lymphoma (9%), and metastasis (1%). Conclusion: Lymph node FNA in HIV/AIDS is not only useful in identifying those cases that require further evaluation, but also aids in categorizing various etiologies such as opportunistic infections, non-neoplastic, and neoplastic lesions. FNA is a less expensive, expeditious minimally invasive method for an early diagnosis that abets in deciding the treatment strategy, thus curtailing the associated morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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