Is routine pathological examination required in South African children undergoing adenotonsillectomy?
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the incidence of abnormal pathological findings in the tonsils and/or adenoids of children undergoing tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and the incidence of tuberculosis of the tonsils and adenoids; suggest criteria to identify children at risk for adenotonsillar tuberculosis; and investigate the association between HIV and adenotonsillar abnormality, the cost-effectiveness of routine pathological examination of adenotonsillectomy specimens, and criteria to decide which specimens to send for histological examination. METHODS: We undertook an 8-month prospective study on all children (< or =12 years) undergoing consecutive tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy (T&A) at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. Patients were assessed pre-operatively and tonsil sizes graded pre- and intra-operatively. Blood was taken for HIV testing, and all tonsils and adenoids were examined histologically. A cost-benefit analysis was done to determine the cost-effectiv