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J Voice. 2007 Sep;21(5):617-22. Epub 2006 Jun 27.

Fine needle aspiration: a novel application in laryngology.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


Fine needle aspiration (FNA) has had an early start in medicine and has been heavily used in the United States since the 1980s. It is regarded as a highly effective means to sample mass lesions, serving as the first diagnostic procedure in many instances. FNA is safe, less invasive than biopsy, and reduces the risk of scar formation. Its main limitations can be overcome through effective training and practiced technique. In laryngology, the development of new and diversified therapeutic and diagnostic strategies depends on the development of equally appropriate diagnostic tools. FNA has the potential to be a relatively easy procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia, increasing the otolaryngologist's armamentarium. Combining the FNA procedure with technology now available, secondary to advances in genomic science, rather than cytology and H&E stains, provides the means of obtaining clinically useful information about benign and malignant disease for clinicians and researchers. This paper provides a review of the traditional FNA procedure. It offers an introduction to the future applicability of FNA to office-based laryngology. Lastly, this paper familiarizes the reader with the genomic principles being used for this procedure.

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