Role of Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology and Fluid Cytology in Extra-Pulmonary Tuberculosis

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Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis is the presence of disease in an organ without obvious involvement of the lungs (World Health Organization, Tuberculosis Fact sheet, 2006). The present article focuses on the incidence of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis as an emerging and clinically significant disease to be reckoned with in the present era. It also highlights fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) as an inexpensive, less invasive procedure for early diagnosis of such tuberculosis and timely initiation of specific therapy.All cases of proved tuberculosis presenting to the M.V.J. Medical College and Research Hospital were recorded over a period of two years (2008–2010); and categorized as pulmonary and extra-pulmonary cases. A total of 96 cases of tuberculosis were observed; extra-pulmonary tuberculosis was seen in 64 cases. Of these 56 cases were from lymphnodes and 8 from extra-nodal sites which included tuberculous dactylitis (two cases), tuberculous mastitis (two cases), tuberculous synovial effusion (one case), pericardial effusion (one case), epididymo-orchitis (one case), and cold abscess (one case). The cytology patterns observed included granulomatous inflammation and necrosis with or without acid fast bacilli.

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