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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144

Soft tissue swelling: cytology comes to rescue.

Correspondence Address:
S Chaturvedi

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 11832611

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Keywords: Adolescent, Arm, parasitology,Case Report, Diagnosis, Differential, Filariasis, diagnosis,Human, Male,

How to cite this article:
Chaturvedi S, Arora V K. Soft tissue swelling: cytology comes to rescue. J Postgrad Med 2001;47:144

How to cite this URL:
Chaturvedi S, Arora V K. Soft tissue swelling: cytology comes to rescue. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2001 [cited 2023 Jun 9];47:144. Available from:


We wish to report a case of a 14 years old boy from Delhi who presented with a tender swelling just above the cubital fossa of left arm. It was approximately 3x2 cms in size and of a month’s duration. There were no other complaints or findings. Prior treatment consisted of topical application of some herbal medicines. Results of routine blood studies were normal. Fine needle aspiration was attempted. A brownish aspirate was obtained. Smears were moderately cellular. In a background of dirty necrotic material were seen abundant eosinophils, polymorphs and histiocytes. Segment of an adult female filarial worm with smooth cuticle was identifiable. Its internal reproductive system showed characteristic long ovaries with numerous nuclei and lipid droplets [Figure]. No eggs or microfilariae were seen.

The adult worms of the common filarial species found in India, viz. W. bancrofti and B. malayi, have a smooth cuticle but none is known to inhabit subcutaneous tissue and skin. This case is unusual, both, in its presentation and cytomorphology. Primary presentation as a subcutaneous nodule is unusual in species found in India. Moreover, aspirates from a lesion of filarial pathology usually contain microfilariae. Isolated finding of a non-gravid adult female worm is uncommon. In an earlier study of 34 cases of lymphatic filariasis, non-gravid female was seen only in one.[1] Our patient responded well to antifilarial treatment. The authors wish to reinforce the role of aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of lymphatic filariasis.[2]

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1. Arora VK, Singh N, Bhatia A. Cytomorphologic profile of lymphatic filariasis. Acta Cytol 1996; 40:948-952.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Kapila K, Verma K. Gravid adult female worms of W. bancrofti in fine needle aspirate of soft tissue swelling - report of three cases. Acta Cytol 1989; 33:390-392.   Back to cited text no. 2    


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Online since 12th February '04
© 2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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