Liver lesions in children and adolescents: Cytopathologic analysis and clinical correlates in 44 cases

Zenab Laiq, Justin A. Bishop, Syed Z. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The role of fine needle aspiration (FNA) as a first-line diagnostic modality is well-established for neoplastic and nonneoplastic liver masses in adults. However, cytopathologic analysis of such lesions in children and adolescents has not been well studied. An 18-year retrospective review of the cytopathology archives at The Johns Hopkins Hospital identified 44 cases of hepatic FNA in children and adolescents (i.e., 21 years and younger). The cytopathologic material was reviewed and correlated with subsequent surgical pathology diagnoses and/or clinical follow-up. Among the 44 FNAs studied, 40 (90.9%) were deemed diagnostic for evaluation and 4 (9.1%) were nondiagnostic. Twenty four (60%) of the diagnostic FNAs were neoplasms, 10 (25%) were nonneoplastic lesions, and 6 (15%) were "atypical" or "suspicious." There were 21 (87.5%) malignant and 3 (12.5%) benign tumors. Among the malignant cases, metastases/secondary tumors accounted for 12 (54.5%) followed by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-7 (38.1%). The types of metastatic/secondary neoplasms were Wilms tumor (2), germ cell tumor (2), acute leukemias (2), and miscellaneous others (6). Among the nonneoplastic lesions focal nodular hyperplasia was most common-4 (40%). Among the "atypical" cases, 4 (66.6%) turned out to be benign on follow-up, 2 were HCC, and 1 was Hodgkin lymphoma. Immunoperoxidase (IPOX) studies were done in 20 (45.5%) cases to confirm the cytopathologic diagnoses. Overall, FNA showed a sensitivity of 95.2% and a specificity of 100% for a malignant diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic cytopathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • adolescents
  • children
  • cytopathology
  • fine needle aspiration
  • liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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