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Phys Med. 2009 Sep;25(3):128-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2008.09.001. Epub 2009 May 5.

A new semi-automated instrument to improve the fine needle aspiration procedure during breast lesion cell sampling.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, 100 54 Stockholm, Sweden.


A large and increasing number of women in the western world will at some point during their life be investigated morphologically for some type of breast lesion. Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is one morphological method which is considered to be the fastest, cheapest and the most patient-friendly approach. However, the frequency of conclusive samples using this method varies and is often too low, especially when performed by unexperienced operators. In this study we have developed and tested a new semi-automated instrument ("CytoTest") designed for FNA which is intended to improve the efficacy of the technique by increasing the percentage of conclusive samples. A total of 443 consecutive aspiration procedures on palpable breast lesions were performed to compare this new "CytoTest" equipment with the standard protocol using the same type of needles. We conclude that by increasing the extent and frequency of the reciprocatory motions used by an experienced sampling operator as well as enhancing the ejection pressure, the cellular yield can be increased almost three folded compared to the standard protocol. For cases with high amounts of non-diagnostic material (such as blood or cystic fluid) which were discarded, up to four times more sample could be obtained. Furthermore, the frequency of sparse samples under 1mg was halved with use of the "CytoTest".

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