Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) can be a precious tool for the evaluation of lymphadenopathies in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to analyse the diagnostic accuracy of FNAC in a paediatric lymph node series. We report a series of 76 patients, aged up to 19 years, who underwent lymph node FNAC. In our series, 57 cases were diagnosed as non-neoplastic, including benign reactive hyperplasia and other inflammatory lesions, 18 cases were diagnosed as malignant and 1 case was diagnosed as suspicious for lymphoproliferative process, not otherwise specified. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 93 %, 100 %, 100 % and 98 %, respectively. Diagnostic accuracy resulted 98.6 %. FNAC is an accurate, minimally invasive method with minimal complications that allows evaluation of paediatric lymphadenopathies and a correct triage of reactive/inflammatory and neoplastic lymphadenopathies. The application of rapid on-site evaluation, the realization of a cell block and the application of ancillary diagnostic tests, including at least immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry, allows to achieve an excellent diagnostic performance.
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