Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology

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Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 629--630

Primary actinomycosis of anterior abdominal wall: A rare occurrence, diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology


Mona Agnihotri, Kanchan Kothari, Leena Naik 
 Department of Pathology, Seth G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Mona Agnihotri
Department of Pathology, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
India

Abstract

Actinomycosis, a chronic suppurative and granulomatous infection, is caused by Actinomyces israeli. The common clinical presentations are cervicofacial, abdominal, and thoracic regions. Abdominal wall actinomycosis following pelvic or intraperitoneal involvement is known, but isolated abdominal wall involvement is extremely rare and can mimic malignancy. We report a case of primary actinomycosis of anterior abdominal wall, diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). Identifying fluffy colonies and branching swirling filaments positive for fungal and Gram stain on cytology smears aid correct diagnosis. FNAC is an effective and reliable tool for early diagnosis of actinomycosis. The treatment is centered around antibiotics, and thus it is essential to diagnose accurately and avoid unnecessary surgery.



How to cite this article:
Agnihotri M, Kothari K, Naik L. Primary actinomycosis of anterior abdominal wall: A rare occurrence, diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology.Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2019;62:629-630


How to cite this URL:
Agnihotri M, Kothari K, Naik L. Primary actinomycosis of anterior abdominal wall: A rare occurrence, diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jun 23 ];62:629-630
Available from: https://www.ijpmonline.org/text.asp?2019/62/4/629/269060


Full Text



 Introduction



Actinomycosis is a chronic suppurative and granulomatous infectious disease caused by actinomyces species, usually Actinomyces israeli.[1] It occurs most frequently in the cervicofacial, abdominal, and thoracic regions.[2] Abdominal wall actinomycosis without pelvic and intraperitoneal involvement is extremely rare and can mimic multiple disease processes including malignancy.[3] It requires early and accurate diagnosis for successful therapy. We report a case of primary actinomycosis of anterior abdominal wall, diagnosed on fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC).

 Case Report



A 54-year-old female presented with a painful swelling over the left iliac region since 2 years. The swelling was firm, mobile, and measured 1.5 × 1.5 cm in size. On examination, a sinus was noticed at the left inguinal region which was associated with intermittent seropurulent discharge. No lymph nodes were palpable. There was no history of fever, tuberculosis, or any significant past illness. Routine laboratory tests were normal. Ultrasonography showed two fistulous tracts in the left inguinal subcutaneous plane, communicating with each other and the left iliac swelling along with multiple necrotic and non-necrotic inguinal lymph nodes on the left side, the largest measuring 1.1 × 0.5 cm. However, there was no communication seen with any internal organs. The patient was advised FNAC. Aspiration yielded scanty purulent fluid material and the smears were stained with Giemsa and Papanicolaou stain. Smears showed dense neutrophilic infiltrate, numerous histiocytes, and multinucleated giant cells [Figure 1]a. Various-sized fragments of fluffy material were seen [Figure 1]b. These fragments were composed of colonies of thin swirling branching filamentous structures [Figure 1]c. No granuloma or atypical cells were present. The colonies were positive for Gram stain and Grocott's methenamine silver (GMS) stain [Figure 1]d. They were not acid-fast, thereby ruling out Nocardia. On the basis of morphology and staining characteristics, a diagnosis of actinomycosis was made. Culture was negative on both bacterial and fungal (Sabouraud) media, thus confirming the diagnosis; however, culture for definite species of actinomyces could not be performed. Subsequently, the patient received high-dose penicillin treatment and recovered completely.{Figure 1}

 Discussion



Actinomyces is an anaerobic Gram-positive filamentous bacteria that is normally present in the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, and bronchus.[4] It has low virulence and the disease occurs when the mucosal barrier has been compromised by trauma or in immune-susceptible individuals.[5]

The common clinical presentations of actinomycosis are cervicofacial, abdominal, and thoracic regions.[6] Abdominal actinomycosis accounts for 20% of actinomycosis infections and can occur due to destruction of mucosal barriers, including perforated bowel, endoscopic procedures, trauma, and appendicectomy.[6],[7] Increased usage of intrauterine device has also resulted in rise in frequency of abdominal infection.[7] Involvement of abdominal wall following pelvic or intraperitoneal is known, but isolated abdominal wall involvement as seen in this case is extremely rare.[8] Clinically, it may present as an abdominal mass mimicking malignancy or as sinuses which may be suspicious of tuberculosis.[8] Consequently, a majority of cases are diagnosed after histopathological examination of the specimen obtained by surgical exploration and resection.[8]

FNAC is a minimally invasive and reliable tool for early diagnosis of actinomycosis and can avoid unnecessary surgery. The diagnostic cytological feature is the presence of fluffy colonies composed of branching swirling filamentous bacteria.[9] These are characteristically positive for fungal (GMS) and Gram stain and are not acid-fast as seen in the present case.[9] This triad of special stains will differentiate it from Nocardia which is partially acid-fast. The background can show suppurative and/or granulomatous inflammatory response. In suspected cases, adequate material should be aspirated for performing special stains and culture. The gold standard remains culture, but the organisms are difficult to grow as they are anaerobic.[8],[9]

The treatment is high-dose antibiotics, including the standard treatment of parenteral penicillin G for 2–6 weeks, followed by 6–12 months of oral penicillin.[10] Thus, early and accurate diagnosis is required for successful therapy.

 Conclusion



A high index of suspicion and procuring adequate material for special stains can aid in correct diagnosis on FNAC and institution of effective treatment.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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