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Respirology. 2001 Jun;6(2):91-4.

Cell type accuracy of transthoracic fine needle aspiration material in primary lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonology, SSK Süreyyapasa Center for Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery, Istanbul, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of transthoracic fine needle aspiration (TFNA) materials in establishing the specific cell type in primary lung cancer, and to study the influence of several factors on this accuracy.


The present study included 129 patients [(12 females, 117 males; mean age 54.6 years (range 25-75)] who underwent thoracotomy. The initial diagnosis was obtained by means of TFNA biopsy in all patients. Transthoracic fine needle aspiration was performed by 22-gauge Chiba needle with fluoroscopy guide in 93 patients and with computed tomography guide in 36 cases.


The overall concordance was 73.6% (Kappa = 0.52). The worst agreement was obtained for the large cell carcinoma (40%; Kappa = 0.48). The likelihood of a correct diagnosis using the TFNA specimens was 6.2-fold higher for well-differentiated tumours than for poorly differentiated tumours (P < 0.005). The stage of tumour and diameter of the lesion had no effect on cell agreement. Cell agreement was higher in central lesions than peripheral lesions, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.097). This difference was more significant between patients with central and peripheral epidermoid carcinoma (P = 0.057).


In our opinion, cell typing by TFNA may lead to incorrect results in the presence of poor differentiation, mixed tumours and peripheral epidermoid carcinomas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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