Document Type : Original Article



Background: Abdominal cutaneous and subcutaneous nodules are uncommon benign or malignant lesions. The majority of the malignant nodules are metastatic in origin and may be the initial presentation of a primary malignancy; hence, an early diagnosis is important. Our aim of this study was to find out the spectrum of lesions (both non-neoplastic and neoplastic) that present as cutaneous and subcutaneous nodules on the abdominal wall and to find out the efficacy of fine needle aspiration cytology in the early diagnosis of such lesions so that the need for histopathology can be minimized. Method: The study was conducted on 46 patients of all age groups who presented with various palpable cutaneous and subcutaneous abdominal nodules. These nodules were assessed by fine needle aspiration cytology. The diagnosis was made cytopathologically and subsequently correlated with the histopathological diagnosis when possible. Result: Out of 46 cases aspirated; there were 13 non-neoplastic cases, 15 benign neoplasms, 17 malignant cases and one case whose tissue sample was inadequate for opinion but turned out to be metastatic deposits from renal cell carcinoma on histopathology. The rate of unsatisfactory fine needle aspiration cytology was 2.2% and the sensitivity was 89.47%. The specificity and positive predictive value were 100%. Conclusion: Fine needle aspiration cytology is a simple, minimally invasive, highly accurate and cost effective technique for early diagnosis of malignant metastatic nodules on the abdominal wall and therefore minimizes the need for histopathology and facilitates decision-making regarding the mode of treatment.