alexa Appraising the Role of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology in Non-Thyroidal Head and Neck Masses: A Single Referral Institute Experience.
ISSN: 2161-119X

Otolaryngology: Open Access
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Research Article

Appraising the Role of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology in Non-Thyroidal Head and Neck Masses: A Single Referral Institute Experience.

Zeinab A Al-Qudehy1*, Ali Al-Mommen2, Yasser Al-Nufaily3 and Sohail Butt4

1Department of ENT and Pediatric Otolaryngology, Dammam Medical Complex, Saudi Arabia

2Department of Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery, King Fahd Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

3Department of ENT and Otology, Dammam Medical Complex, Saudi Arabia

4Department of Pathology, Dammam Medical Complex, Saudi Arabia

*Corresponding Author:
Zeinab A Al-Qudehy
H and N, ENT Consultant, Pediatric Otolaryngologist
Dammam Medical Complex, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 00966504804838
Fax: 0096638901950
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 03, 2017; Accepted date: June 19, 2017; Published date: June 26, 2017

Citation: Al-Qudehy ZA, Al-Mommen A, Al-Nufaily Y, Butt S (2017) Appraising the Role of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology in Non-Thyroidal Head and Neck Masses: A Single Referral Institute Experience. Otolaryngol (Sunnyvale) 7:310. doi:10.4172/2161-119X.1000310

Copyright: © 2017 Al-Qudehy ZA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is a widely recognized and sensitive technique, in which a fine needle is introduced into a mass, cellular material is aspirated and a cytological diagnosis is made. It provides initial diagnosis for masses in the head and neck region, enables appropriate management plans for individual patients to be made and separates masses that are reactive or inflammatory in origin and do not require surgical intervention, from masses of neoplastic origin. Furthermore, FNAB can differentiate benign from malignant neoplasms. Objective: To study the value of fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in the diagnosis of palpable non-thyroidal neck masses in Dammam Medical Complex. Study design: Patients with palpable non-thyroidal neck masses, who had their FNAB during the three-year study period, were reviewed. The FNAB results were analyzed into two groups according to the tissue of origin, into lymph node and salivary gland in origins. The study groups were also classified based on the histopathology findings into; inflammatory, congenital and neoplastic. FNAB diagnoses were retrospectively correlated from patient’s file, with available histological findings or with the outcome of treatment. Accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of FNA were analyzed. Results: A total of 258 patients had FNAB during the study Period. All patients who lost follow-up, those who were referred from other hospitals so the full medical records could not be retrieved and those with inadequate FNAB specimens to make the diagnosis were excluded from our study. Out of the 178 FNABs included in our study, 159 FNAB were done in adult patients and only 19 FNAB were carried out in pediatric age group. For the masses from palpable lymph node, the most common diagnoses were reactive/nonspecific lymphadenitis in pediatric (73.7%) and in adult were reactive/nonspecific lymphadenitis and tuberculosis lymphadenitis (50.8% and 32.5%, respectively). The next most common masses were neoplasm (16.7%), of these 45% of the cases were metastatic in origin, while diagnosis of lymphoma made in 55% of the cases. FNA from major salivary glands were 12.6% of the cases, mainly parotid and submandibular gland (65% and 35%, respectively). In our experience, the overall FNA sensitivity was 96.77%, with specificity of 92.1% and accuracy of 95.68%. Conclusion: FNAB of head and neck masses is a simple and cost effective tool in reaching an initial diagnosis and road map the clinician’s management approach. It aids in separating inflammatory non-thyroidal neck masses from neoplastic lesions, enhances surgical planning for malignant diseases and allows rapid referral of lymphomas and cancer cases for a higher center for further management. FNAB carries a high sensitivity and specificity rate with high overall accuracy in both adult and pediatric patients if done by experienced physician and interpreted by experienced histopathologist. The complications of FNAB are negligible and the associated pain and discomfort is short lived and well tolerated by most patients. This advantage encourages the clinician to consider FNAB as first step in approaching non-resolving, non-vascular, non-thyroidal head and neck masses in both adult and pediatric population.


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