The utility of fine needle aspiration in HIV positive children
Objective: To determine the spectrum of disease, diagnostic accuracy and adequacy of fine needle aspirates (FNA) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive children who present with mass lesions. Methods: Between January 1997 and December 2002, 95 FNAs were performed in 91 children aged 15 years and younger who were known to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Results: Head and neck masses including salivary gland swellings were the most common presentation (58.9%) followed by axillary masses (25.3%). Groin masses were aspirated in six children, flank and abdominal masses in four children, buttock masses in three children, a chest wall mass in one child and a sonar guided FNA of a lung mass in one child. Eight FNAs (8.4%) proved inadequate. Reactive lymphadenopathy was diagnosed in 42 cases, mycobacterial infection in 22, four children were diagnosed with abscess, one child had a fungal infection and five were found to have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There were four cases each of lymphoepithelial lesion and Kaposi sarcoma. There was one case each of nephroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, myeloma, melanotic progonoma and spindle cells, not otherwise specified. Conclusion: Fine needle aspiration in HIV positive children is a worthwhile procedure and in most instances allows a rapid diagnosis obviating the need for surgery and enabling swift treatment to be undertaken where necessary. Ancillary studies form an important diagnostic component. Universal safety precautions must be strictly adhered to. © 2007 National Health Laboratory Service.