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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2006 Jul;49(3):365-9.

Microfilariae in fine needle aspirates: a report of 22 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Govt Medical College & Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra.


The objective of the study is to document the value of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in the diagnosis of filariasis at all possible sites in both exfoliative cytologic material and fine needle aspirates. Both unguided and guided FNACs of all foci were studied over a period of two years between 1999 to 2000. Total 22 cases of filariasis were detected which included subcutaneous swellings(7), breast(3), thyroid(3), lymphnodes(3), effusions(3), cervical scrape(1), eyeball(1), sputum(1) and bronchial washing(1). In none of these cases was filariasis considered a diagnostic possibility. Cytologic smears showed eosinophils in 9 cases, oval ova and embryonated eggs in 2 cases. Microfilariae were associated with other diseases in 13 cases, including 6 cases of malignancy. Significant adherence of inflammatory cells and macrophages to microfilariae was present in 6 of the 22 cases. In endemic areas,filariasis should be considered one of the differential diagnosis of a swelling. Thus demonstration and identification of the parasite in cytologic smears played a significant role in the prompt recognition of the disease and institution of specific treatment, thus obviating the more severe manifestations of lymphatic frilariasis.

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