Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  1999 Nov;42(11):1429-1434.

Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy and Histopathologic Diagnosis in the Head and Neck Mass

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kwangju Christian Hospital, Kwangju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is a safe and economical biospy technique which is widely applicable to palpable masses as a first-line procedure. Successful FNAC, however, demands high specimen quality and experience on the part of both the aspirator and the pathologist. We compared cytological diagnosis with histopathological diagnosis in the head and neck region, in order to increase accuracy and solve any discrepancy in the two types of diagnoses.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
From July 1996 through to July 1998, FNAC were carried out in 830 cases in palpable mass of the head and neck region in the Department of Pathology, Chonnam University Hospital. The major target sites were lymph nodes (61.4%), soft tissues (22.2%), and salivary glands (16.4%). Histopathological diagnoses were performed in 267 cases by surgical methods. Cytological reports were classified into the following diagnostic categories: non-tumor, tumor (benign, malignant: primary or metastatic).
RESULTS
In a series of 267 cases, there were 70 non-tumor lesions (26.2%), 197 tumor lesions (73.8%), (benign: 77, malignant: 120). Lymph nodes were the most common anatomic sites for FNAC. The overall diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of FNAC were 95.5%, 98.8%, and 94.2% allowed an correct diagnosis between FNAC and histopathology.
CONCLUSION
FNAC of the head and neck region is a sensitive and specific diagnostic tool, especially when diagnosing metastatic carcinomas. Four major causes of error were identified: material adequacy criteria, sampling technique, cytological interpretation and limitations in the procedure. In particular, attention must be paid to subtle morphological changes when making detailed clinical pathological observations; this may help avoid discrepancies and achieve the right diagnosis.

Keyword

Fine needle aspiration cytology; Head and neck mass; Histopathologic diagnosis

MeSH Terms

Biopsy*
Biopsy, Fine-Needle*
Cytological Techniques
Diagnosis*
Head*
Jeollanam-do
Lymph Nodes
Neck*
Pathology
Salivary Glands
Sensitivity and Specificity
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