Clinicocytopathologic correlation in an atypical presentation of lymphadenopathy with review of literature

Alexander H. Choi, Michael Bolaris, Diana K. Nguyen, Eduard H. Panosyan, Joseph L. Lasky, Gloria B. Duane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: To present a clinicocytopathologic correlation of an atypical case of cat scratch disease (CSD) involving retroperitoneal lymph nodes, with emphasis on communication between service teams for managing lymphadenopathy of unknown origin. We consider clinical and cytologic differential diagnoses and review the literature on atypical cases of CSD, with emphasis on abdominal presentation and cytologic findings. Methods: Clinical services met with the cytology service to review clinical and pathologic features. Literature was reviewed via PubMed search (Harbor-UCLA subscriptions). Immunohistochemistry and Steiner silver stains were performed by Harbor-UCLA Department of Pathology. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay IgG and IgM Bartonella henselae titers were carried out by Quest Nichols Institute. Results: Fine-needle aspirate Diff-Quik and Papanicolaou smears and H&E-stained cell block showed abundant histiocytes, monocytoid B cells, and numerous neutrophils associated with necrosis corresponding to a late stage of CSD infection. Silver stain was positive for clumps of pleomorphic organisms. IgM and IgG antibody titers were elevated. Conclusions: The cytologic findings of CSD in an atypical abdominal presentation are similar to those of a classic presentation. Laboratory workup for atypical CSD should include at least two other modalities aside from cytomorphologic features. Close clinical and cytologic correlation avoided potentially unnecessary and harmful surgery and enabled timely treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-754
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal lymphadenopathy/lymphadenitis
  • Atypical cat scratch disease
  • EUS-FNA cytology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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