Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 201-205

Cysticercus cellulosae lies in the eyes of the beholder

Department of Pathology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Tamaka, Kolar, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Thomas Kodiatte
C/O Dr. Stanley John, No: 24/1, Alfred Street, Richmond Town, Bangalore - 560 025, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.116522

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Context: Cysticercosis is quite common in the tropics. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) plays an important role in prompt diagnosis of this disease. Aims: The aim of this study was to study the role of FNAC in the diagnosis of cysticercosis. Materials and Methods: Among all the subcutaneous swellings referred for FNAC to our tertiary care hospital during the time period from 2009 to 2011, we found thirty cases of cysticercus infestation which were clinically diagnosed as tuberculous lymphadenitis, reactive lymphadenitis and lipoma. We also reviewed all the reported subcutaneous swellings during that period, which were already classified as acute suppurative processes (forty), for the presence of any parasite fragments. Results: In twenty-eight cases, a definitive diagnosis of cysticercosis was obtained in the form of fragments of parasite bladder wall, and biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in three cases. Two of the forty cases, which were initially reported as acute suppurative lesions during routine reporting, were retrospectively reviewed and parasite fragments were observed. Remaining 38 cases were extensively searched for any evidence of the parasite: however, they only showed acute suppurative inflammation with eosinophils, neutrophils and histiocytes. Conclusions: FNAC for diagnosis of cysticercosis is a low-cost, outpatient procedure. The cytological diagnosis is quite clear where the actual parasitic structures are seen in the smears. However, in other cases, the presence of eosinophils, histiocytes, and a typical granular dirty background should always alert the pathologist to the possibility of this condition. In endemic areas, it should be considered as one of the differential diagnoses for all subcutaneous swellings.

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