Background: Head and neck swelling is a frequently encountered
complaint in the outpatient department. A wide plethora of conditions
give rise to head and neck lumps. Sometimes the diagnosis of these
lesions is apparent from the site and associated features, while at
other times the cause for mass in this region can be confusing.
Fine needle aspiration cytology has emerged as a reliable tool for
clinching the diagnosis in head and neck swellings.
Methods and Materials: A retrospective study was conducted in
the department of Pathology, Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences,
Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara. Details of diagnosed cases
of HN swellings from the period of November 2015 to February
2018 were obtained from recorded data. Descriptive statistics was
applied from the data collected for analysis.
Results: Out of total 456 patients included from a period of 28
months, female patients outnumbered male patients by 1.5 times.
The most common age group of presentation for head and neck
swellings was observed to be 20-29 years, with 93 patients which
comprised of 20.39% of total. Highest incidence was that of lymph
node swellings (55.04%) followed by thyroid swellings (21.49%).
Conclusion: Lymph node pathology was determined to be the
commonest cause for head and neck mass. FNAC is a reliable and
inexpensive means in investigating such lesions, which provides
immense help in treatment of patients.

Keywords: Fine needle aspiration cytology, lymphadenitis, thyroid nodules, metastasis