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J Cytol. 2013 Jan;30(1):36-41. doi: 10.4103/0970-9371.107511.

Image-guided fine-needle aspiration of retroperitoneal masses: The role of the cytopathologist.

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1
Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Retroperitoneal tumors constitute a difficult diagnostic category as they are not easily accessible. The advent of image-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) has resolved this problem significantly.

AIMS:

We present a short study based on guided aspiration of retroperitoneal tumors, in which we have tried to assess the role of image-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology as a tool for pre-operative diagnosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study was conducted on patients diagnosed with retroperitoneal masses. FNA was performed under image guidance with the help of ultrasonography and/or computed tomography; smears were prepared and meticulously screened according to a fixed protocol. The results were analyzed to determine sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic efficacy of cytopathological diagnosis using image-guided FNA techniques.

RESULTS:

We assessed 38 patients with retroperitoneal masses. In all cases, adequate cellular material was obtained. No major complications were encountered. Statistical analysis was carried out in 35 cases; sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were 100% in these cases.

CONCLUSION:

FNA under image guidance should be considered a first-line diagnostic approach for retroperitoneal and other abdominal tumors, although caution should be exercised in case selection. In areas where advanced tests are not available, the cytotechnologist and cytopathologist have a very important role to play in ensuring accurate diagnoses.

KEYWORDS:

Fine-needle aspiration; image guidance; retroperitoneal masses

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