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Acta Cytol. 2003 Nov-Dec;47(6):951-9.

Splenic fine needle aspiration and core biopsy. A review of 49 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, USA.



To analyze the authors' experience with splenic fine needle aspiration (sFNA) and splenic core biopsy (sCB) and to examine their roles in patients with splenomegaly or splenic mass lesions.


A total of 56 sFNAs and/or sCBs were performed on 49 patients for neoplastic and nonneoplastic indications. Both sFNAs and sCBs were performed in 21 (38%) cases, sFNAs alone in 26 (46%) and sCBs only in 9 (16%). Cytologic findings were evaluated for specimen adequacy, diagnosis and use of ancillary techniques. Cytologic diagnosis was compared with histology on subsequent splenectomy or bone marrow biopsy, when available.


There were a total of 33 males and 16 females (aged 30-82 years) in the study. Radiologic findings were single or multiple masses (42), fluid collection (3) or diffuse splenomegaly (4). The cytologic diagnosis was neoplastic process in 12 (25%), nonneoplastic in 32 (65%) and inadequate specimen in 5 (10%). The procedure was adequate for diagnosis in 44 (90%) patients. Cytologic diagnosis correlated with subsequent histology in all cases where tissue diagnosis was available. Major complications occurred in 3 (6%) patients, including hemorrhage, pseudoaneurysm and hypotension. Five other patients (10%) had minor complications. The number of passes, inclusion of sCB and repeat procedures were not associated with an increased risk of complications.


sFNA and sCB have excellent diagnostic accuracy in both neoplastic and nonneoplastic splenic disorders. While the overall complication rate is significant, major complications of the procedure are uncommon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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