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Laryngoscope. 2001 Nov;111(11 Pt 1):1989-92.

Value of fine-needle aspiration cytology of parotid gland masses.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Berne, Inselspital, Berne, Switzerland.



To evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in the diagnosis of parotid gland masses.


Retrospective chart review of patients undergoing FNAC.


Between January 1990 and December 1998, 410 parotid glands were resected at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Berne, Inselpital (Berne, Switzerland). Included in the study were 228 cases with preoperative FNAC. In a retrospective study the results of FNAC were analyzed and compared with the corresponding histopathological diagnosis.


Histological evaluation revealed 65 malignant tumors and 163 benign lesions (150 neoplasms and 13 nonneoplastic lesions). The cytological findings were nondiagnostic in 13 (5.7%), true-negative in 146 (64%), true-positive in 39 (17%), false-negative in 22 (9.8%) and false-positive in 8 (4.5%) cases in detecting malignant tumors. Nineteen of 39 (49%) malignant tumors (true-positive) and 123 of 146 (84%) benign lesions (true-negative) were classified accurately. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were 86%, 64%, and 95% respectively.


Fine-needle aspiration cytology is a valuable adjunct to preoperative assessment of parotid masses. Preoperative recognition of malignant tumors may help prepare both the surgeon and patient for an appropriate surgical procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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