Histological study of routine tonsillectomy specimen

Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Dec;60(4):309-13. doi: 10.1007/s12070-008-0105-y. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


Introduction: Palatine and nasopharyngeal tonsils are lymphatic flesh clusters of tissue of the respiratory and digestive tract's epithelium. There is not much literature pertaining to the histological assessment of resected tonsils though anecdotal case reports of choristoma, squamous cell cysts of the tonsil have been reported which mimicked chronic tonsillitis. Tonsils also are an important site for head and neck cancer in adults. AIM #ENTITYSTARTX00026;

Objective: To study the histological features of routine tonsillectomy specimens and to study for the presence of choristomatic tissue or any other benign pathology as a cause of chronic tonsillitis. PATIENTS #ENTITYSTARTX00026;

Methods: Fifty consecutive tonsillectomy specimens, which were received in the department of Pathology, Gandhi Medical College, were evaluated with regards to clinical information. Among 50 patients, a slight predominance of men (56 %) over women (44 %) was observed.

Conclusion: The mesenchymal tissue consisted mainly of epithelium and lymphoid tissue with cartilage in a single case and fat in three cases. The role of imaging techniques, in assessing the need for early surgical intervention in cases with chronic tonsillitis, can be determined by assessing the micropathology of tonsillectomy specimens and is an arena for further research. We discussed the role of FDG-PET scan in the assessment of the same.

Keywords: Histology; Tonsillectomy.