Lateral neck masses present clinically as neoplastic or non-neoplastic lesions of lymph nodes, salivary glands, and thyroid. Non-neoplastic lesions, if evaluated timely, may not transform into malignancy thus reducing clinical burden. A cytomorphological study using fine needle aspiration is a reliable method for the diagnosis of such masses. The aim of this study was to find out the prevalence of non-neoplastic lesions of lateral neck mass specimens received in the Department of Pathology in a tertiary care center.
This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in the Department of Pathology among lateral neck mass specimens of a tertiary care center from January 2019 to December 2020 after obtaining ethical approval from the Institutional Review Committee (Reference no: 155/19). A convenience sampling method was used and data analysis was done in Microsoft Excel 2019. Point estimate at 95% Confidence Interval was calculated along with frequency and proportion for binary data.
Out of 300 lateral neck mass specimens, non-neoplastic lesions were found in 246 (82%) (77.7-86.3 at 95% Confidence Interval). The involvement of lymph nodes in 117 (47.6%) was the most common finding followed by thyroid 112 (45.5%). Among non-neoplastic lesions, the cytomorphological features of benign nodular goiter 93 (37.8%) was the most common lesion followed by reactive lymphoid hyperplasia 73 (29.7%).
The study showed that the prevalence of non-neoplastic lesions was similar to that of other national and international studies.