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Head Neck. 2005 Mar;27(3):217-23.

Relative accuracy of fine-needle aspiration and frozen section in the diagnosis of lesions of the parotid gland.

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1
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 6 Founders Pavilion, 3400 Spruce Street, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Both fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and frozen section (FS), although useful in preoperative and intraoperative management, have their advantages and pitfalls when used in the diagnosis of salivary gland lesions. The accuracy of each of these modalities has been assessed separately in many studies; a direct comparison of these techniques on a large cohort has not been well studied. Herein, we determine the relative accuracies of both FNA and FS in the diagnosis of salivary gland lesions.

METHODS:

We reviewed a cohort of 220 cases of parotid gland FNA with histologic follow-up; FS was performed in 57 cases (26%). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of FNA and FS were determined with respect to the final histologic diagnosis. For these calculations, benign diagnosis was considered negative, whereas a malignant diagnosis was considered positive. In addition, we re-reviewed the FNA and FS slides in cases that had conflicting FNA and FS results.

RESULTS:

Of the 220 cases examined, the FNA diagnoses were as follows: benign (n = 142), malignant (n = 52), indeterminate (n = 14), and nondiagnostic (n = 12). Correlating these findings with the histologic findings, nine cases (4%) were false negative, whereas 12 (5%) were false positive. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for FNA when diagnostic were 86%, 92%, and 90%, respectively. In 57 cases with FS, seven (12%) were false negative, whereas none were false positive. The FS was able to change to benign four diagnoses that were malignant by FNA and provide a diagnosis for five nondiagnostic FNAs. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for FS were 77%, 100%, and 88%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for FNA and FS combined were 90%, 100%, and 95%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both FNA and FS provide a similar accuracy. FS may be useful if FNA is nondiagnostic and may also be useful in confirming or refuting malignancy in some cases. Hence, both techniques are complementary to each other in the diagnosis of salivary gland lesions.

PMID:
15672359
DOI:
10.1002/hed.20142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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