Epididymal nodules are not infrequently encountered in surgical practice. These are generally small and slippery and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is not easy. But as it is rapid and less traumatic than a biopsy, this is a favoured technique in the assessment of epididymal nodules.Patients and methods
In the present study, all the cases of epididymal nodules aspirated from January 1998 to August 2004 were retrieved from the cytology files of the Department of Cytology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.Results
A total of 228 cases were retrieved and divided as follows: tuberculous epididymitis 70 (30.7%), non-specific inflammation 10 (4.4%), microfilaria 2 (0.9%), hydrocele 26 (11.4%), spermatocele 42 (18.4%), spermatic granulomas 12 (5.3%), adenomatoid tumour 3 (1.3%), leiomyosarcoma 1 (0.4%) and lipoma 1 (0.4%). Thirty-six (15.8%) cases were labelled as benign aspirate not otherwise specified. FNAC material was inadequate for opinion in 22 (9.65%) cases and three (1.3%) cases revealed evidence of a haematoma.Conclusions
FNAC was useful in the diagnosis of 90.3% of cases, thereby avoiding surgical biopsy and other investigations. Therefore, FNAC has an important role in the differential diagnosis of epididymal nodules as it can detect malignancy and benign conditions such as tuberculosis and acute and chronic epididymo-orchitis.