A study of 826 consecutive lymph node biopsies received during the period of four years from 19931996 was conducted to determine its role in arriving at a diagnosis and to see the pattern of diseases with which patient presented. These biopsies were interpreted in the Department of Pathology, PNS Shifa Naval Hospital, a tertiary care center for the armed forces personnel in the southern part of Pakistan. The age of the patients varied from 10 months to 88 years. The commonest pathology encountered was tuberculosis (50.9%), followed by reactive hyperplasia (33.2%), malignant lymphomas (5.8%) and metastatic tumors (4.9%). Miscellaneous conditions like necrotizing lymphadenitis, infectious mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, Castleman`s disease and lepromatous leprosy comprised 0.3% each. Cases of lymphadenopathy can now be diagnosed by other means such as fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of the palpable lymph node but still lymph node biopsy plays an important role in typing of lymphomas and helps in those cases which cannot be diagnosed definitely by fine needle aspiration cytology.
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