Background:Nocardia, a gram-positive aerobic bacillus of the Actinomycetales family, is a significant opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised individuals. Clinical and radiological features of pulmonary nocardiosis are nonspecific and can be misdiagnosed as tuberculosis, pneumocystis, staphylococcal or fungal infections, or as malignancy. Aspiration cytology with special stains is a quick and effective approach for accurate diagnosis. Materials and Methods: We present 7 cases of pulmonary nocardiosis, admitted to the pathology department in a tertiary-care hospital in Punjab. Clinical findings, immune status, laboratory tests, chest radiographs, and computed tomography scans were reviewed. Cytologically, special stains like 1% Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN), 20% ZN, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), Grocott methenamine silver (GMS), and reticulin stains were studied along with May-Grünwald Giemsa, Papanicolaou, and hematoxylin and eosin. Results: All the patients were immunocompromised. The radiological changes were nonspecific. Cytomorphology showed acute and chronic inflammatory infiltrates with necrosis. None of the cases showed well-defined granulomas. GMS, modified 1% ZN and, Gordon and Sweet reticulin stains highlighted the delicate filamentous bacteria in all cases. PAS and 20% ZN stain for tuberculous bacilli were uniformly negative. Conclusion: FNAC can provide a quick and accurate diagnosis of nocardiosis and thereby facilitate timely medical management.

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