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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2005 Jun;31(5):490-4.

Touch imprint cytology of core needle biopsy specimens: a useful method for immediate reporting of symptomatic breast lesions.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, England, UK.



The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic value and accuracy of touch imprint cytology (TIC) of core needle biopsy (CNB) specimens in predicting the final benign or malignant histology in patients presenting with symptomatic breast lesions.


One hundred and twenty-eight patients underwent CNB under ultrasonographic guidance with subsequent TIC preparation. TIC results were correlated with the histology of the core or the surgical resection specimen.


The 128 lesions analysed included 106 malignancies and 22 benign lesions. TIC accurately predicted the final histology in 96.7% of cases, with a sensitivity of 96.2% and a specificity of 100%.


The routine use of TIC to complement CNB can provide an immediate and reliable cytological diagnosis of symptomatic breast lesions. The potential use of this technique in a breast clinic setting may help allay patient anxiety and expedite the planning of further surgical management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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