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Comparison of clinical and histopathological evaluation of tonsils in pediatric and adult patients.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Aug;266(8):1309-13. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0869-4. Epub 2008 Nov 27.
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Papouliakos Sotirios, MD, ORL, E.N.T. Departement, General Hospital of Athens, ''G.Gennimatas"". tel. 00306932392332, E: papsot@hotmail.com

Comparison of clinical and histopathological evaluation of tonsils in pediatric and adult patients.

Source

Department of Otolaryngology, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine clinical features that could predict the presence of tonsillar malignancy in children and adults. A retrospective review of the histopathologic reports of the children, who underwent tonsillectomy (753 cases) during the past 16 years (January 1991-December 2006) in a busy district general hospital, was undertaken. We compared the results to the pre-operative data of the patients, for risk factors of malignancy.


Such proposed risk factors were tonsillar asymmetry, palpable firmness, visible lesions, neck adenopathy, history of malignancy, and systemic symptoms. The same data (history, risk factors and histopathologic results) were reviewed for an adult group (>16 years old, 1,027 cases) who underwent tonsillectomy during that period, and the results of the two groups were compared. In the pediatric group only one case was diagnosed as lymphoma (0.13%) and the rest as chronic inflammation (47%), reactive tonsil tissue (26%), lymphoid hyperplasia (19%) and actinomycosis (8%). In the lymphoma case, the diagnosis was suspected preoperatively by history and clinical manifestations.


In the adult group, there were 21 cases of malignancy out of 1,027 cases (2.04%), again with one or more positive risk factors in the pre-surgery history. Based on our review, it is concluded that histopathology of tonsillectomy is not necessary in children unless there is clinical suspicion based on preoperative findings.


A protocol based on proposed risk factors which may be predictive of possible malignancy can be used as a guide to intraoperative histology.


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