Targeted Tonsillar Biopsy for Unilateral Tonsillar Enlargement

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Abstract

Background:

Unilateral tonsillar enlargement (UTE) is not an uncommon incidental finding. Lymphoma is the most common malignancy of the tonsils in children and presents with tonsillar enlargement.

Methods:

This is a retrospective case series of all cases of histopathological analysis of tonsillectomy specimens at a single pediatric tertiary hospital between 1996 and 2015. Patients either had a preoperative indication (n = 53) for pathological testing or indications based on intraoperative findings (n = 88). Of the preoperative group, 17 patients had tonsillectomy for UTE alone. In 72% of cases, the side of perceived unilateral enlargement was confirmed at histopathological assessment.

Results:

Zero cases of suspected malignancy were identified on testing.

Conclusion:

There is a very low prevalence of unsuspected and suspected malignancy in routine and targeted examination of tonsillar specimens. It is reasonable to test based on other clinical findings and risk factors such as immunosuppression.

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