• nested PCR and PCR-SSCP;
  • tuberculous lymphadenitis;
  • FNA


An accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis and multidrug resistance is important for the control of tuberculosis, which remains a major public health problem. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) has provided an alternative tool for bacterial examination. This study was performed to investigate the usefulness of one-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR-SSCP as a routine test for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin-resistant strain in FNA. Ziehl-Neelsen stain (Z-N) and PCR were processed using the aspirates of tuberculous lymphadenitis for the detection of M. tuberculosis. PCR-SSCP was done for the identification of rpoB mutation. M. tuberculosis was detected in 49/63 (77.8%) by PCR and 25/63 (39.7%) by Z-N. There were 26 cases with PCR(+)/Z-N(-) and two cases with PCR(-)/Z-N(+). Twelve cases showed negativity against both. In 7/22 (31.8%), rpoB mutation was observed. In conclusion, PCR is more sensitive in the detection of M. tuberculosis in FNA than Z-N. PCR-SSCP could also be used in FNA in the prediction of multidrug resistance. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2002;26:228–231. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.