Lymph node biopsy in children: Indications and etiology


  • Maryam Aftab The Indus Hospital
  • Maria Hasan The Indus Hospital
  • Lubna Samad The Indus Hospital



Peripheral lymphadenopathy, Lymph node biopsy, Etiology


Background: Peripheral lymphadenopathy manifests in a variety of benign and malignant conditions and is often challenging to distinguish pathologic from non-pathologic etiology based on clinical presentation alone.  Therefore, lymph node biopsy is often required as an essential part of management. This study aimed to determine the causes of peripheral lymphadenopathy in children needing excision biopsy in our setting and establish a correlation with clinical features and laboratory findings.

Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of children aged 0-14 years undergoing lymph node biopsy at our institution, between January 2015 and June 2018, was conducted. Demographic, microbio­logical, and histopathological findings were reviewed.

Results: A total of 69 patients underwent lymph node biopsy, the majority of whom were male (n=40, 58%), with a mean age of 7.9 years.  The histopathological findings confirmed lymphoma (n=27), tubercu­losis (n=24), benign reactive changes (n=14), and Langerhan Cell Histiocytosis (n=4).  Cervical lymph nodes were most frequently involved (n=64).  Associated symptoms included fever (n= 27), weight loss (n=2) and cough (n=7). Only one patient developed a postoperative complication (wound infection). A clini­cal diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) had been presumed in 19 patients, but only 2 (11%) were confirmed to have TB, whereas10 were found to have histopathological findings of lymphoma.

Conclusion: Excisional biopsy is useful in the management of children with lymphadenopathy, allowing treatment to be initiated based on a histopathological diagnosis.


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Author Biographies

Maryam Aftab, The Indus Hospital

Senior Registrar, Department of Pediatric Surgery

Maria Hasan, The Indus Hospital

Postgraduate trainee, Department of Pediatric Surgery

Lubna Samad, The Indus Hospital

Senior Consultant, Department of Pediatric Surgery


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How to Cite

Aftab M, Hasan M, Samad L. Lymph node biopsy in children: Indications and etiology. J Pediatr Adolesc Surg [Internet]. 2020Aug.7 [cited 2021Oct.18];1(1):28-31. Available from:
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