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Acta Cytol. 1992 Jul-Aug;36(4):517-22.

Fine needle aspiration cytology diagnosis of tuberculous thyroiditis. A report of eight cases.

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Institute of Cytology, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi.


Among 1,283 cases of thyroid lesions subjected to fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) over a period of two years, 8 cases (0.6%) were found to be having cytologic features consistent with tuberculous thyroiditis. The ages of the patients ranged from 14 to 65 years, with a median of 30. The male:female ratio was 4:4. Six cases clinically presented with solitary nodules of the thyroid and two cases as abscesses in the thyroid region. Three patients had concomitant cervical lymphadenopathy, and only two patients were known cases of tuberculosis on treatment. Ultrasonography, done in seven cases, confirmed solitary nodules in four; in one case the differentiation between an extrathyroid nodule and cystic isthmic nodule was difficult, and in the remaining two cases the lesions were found to be extrathyroid. Fine needle aspirates from thyroid swellings showed epithelioid granuloma with necrosis in five cases and necrosis without epithelioid granuloma in three cases. The number of cases positive for acid-fast bacilli in these two groups were two and three, respectively. Lymph node aspiration, done in three cases, revealed necrotic material in two; both were positive for acid-fast bacilli, and the third case showed epithelioid granuloma without necrosis.

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