Role of culture for mycobacteria in fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis

Diagn Cytopathol. 1989;5(3):260-2. doi: 10.1002/dc.2840050306.


A total of 390 cases of tuberculous lymphadenitis was subjected to fine-needle aspiration cytology; 100 of the aspirates were subjected to culture for mycobacteria. The overall acid-fast bacilli (AFB) positivity in smears was 23.58%, with a maximum positivity of 32.94% in smears with both necrosis and granuloma. The overall rate of isolation of mycobacteria on culture was 35%. Mycobacteria were more frequently isolated from caseating lesions (40%) than noncaseating lesions (9%). Caseating lesions with granuloma had the highest AFB (smear and/or culture) positivity at 52%. Mycobacterium avium infection was diagnosed by culture in one case.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Granuloma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Mycobacterium avium / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Necrosis
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / pathology