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Head Neck. 2010 Jan;32(1):104-8. doi: 10.1002/hed.21151.

Value of fine-needle aspiration biopsy of salivary gland lesions.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.



The aim of this study was to assess the utility of fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in the diagnosis and treatment planning of the lesions of the salivary gland.


Eight hundred seventy-nine aspiration biopsies of the lesion of the salivary gland over a 10-year period, from 1997 to 2006, were reviewed with special reference to its value in the clinical treatment of patients.


Cytologic as well as histologic diagnoses of 382 patients were available. In these diagnoses, the sensitivity of malignancy was 83% and specificity was 99%. The positive predictive value was 98%, and the negative predictive value was 97%. The overall accuracy was 93%. The correct subtyping of the benign lesions was 97%, and the exact type-specific concordance of the malignant lesions was 71%.


Considerable benefit to the patient may result from the cautious use of FNAB of lesions of the salivary gland. The close co-operation between pathologist and surgeon can improve individual treatment.

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