COVID-19 vaccine-associated clinical lymphadenopathy (C19-LAP) and subclinical lymphadenopathy (SLDI), which are mainly detected by 18F-FDG PET-CT, have been observed after the introduction of RNA-based vaccines during the pandemic. Lymph node (LN) fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has been used to diagnose single cases or small series of SLDI and C19-LAP. In this review, clinical and LN-FNAC features of SLDI and C19-LAP are reported and compared to non-Covid (NC)-LAP. A search for studies on C19-LAP and SLDI histopathology and cytopathology was performed on PubMed and Google Scholar, on 11 January 2023. Reports on LN-FNAC of C19-LAP were retrieved. A total of 14 reports, plus one unpublished case of C19-LAP observed in our institution, diagnosed by LN-FNAC were included in a pooled analysis and compared to the corresponding histopathological reports. In total, 26 cases were included in this review, with a mean age of 50.5 years. Twenty-one lymphadenopathies assessed by LN-FNAC were diagnosed as benign, and three cases as atypical lymphoid hyperplasia; the latter were subsequently confirmed as benign (one by repetition of LN-FNAC, two by histological control). One case of mediastinal lymphadenopathy in a patient suffering from melanoma was reported as reactive granulomatous inflammation, while one unsuspected case was diagnosed as metastasis from melanoma. In all cases, the cytological diagnoses were confirmed by follow-up or excisional biopsy. The high diagnostic value of LN-FNAC in excluding malignant processes was extremely useful in this context and may be particularly valuable when CNB or histological excisions are difficult to perform, as was the case during Covid lockdowns.
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