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Cancer. 1980 Mar 15;45(6):1480-5.

Percutaneous fine-needle aspiration biopsy. I. Its value to clinical practice.


From the experiences in dealing with 2591 cases of transthoracic and transabdominal fine-needle aspiration biopsies (1967-1978), we present our views on the value of this relatively new diagnostic method to clinical practice. Virtually any accessible localized lesion in any organ of the body can be investigated by fine-needle aspiration biopsy, which is considered most useful in patients with suspected malignant disease. Transthoracic and transabdominal fine-needle aspiration biopsy may provide information otherwise obtainable only by thoracotomy or laparotomy. It is an inexpensive and safe method with high accuracy for obtaining a pathologic diagnosis, and can impart some practical significance to clinical practice, especially in clinical management. The pitfalls in cytomorphologic interpretation, which often cause unsuccessful attempts, can be readily avoided with increased practical experience, as indicated by the increase in detection rate of lung cancer by fine-needle aspiration method from 82.8% in 1967-1968 to 93.4% in 1976 at the Toronto General Hospital. The accuracy of cytologic diagnosis plays a major role in spreading this still relatively unfamiliar but excellent diagnostic method. We believe that the method deserves widespread clinical application and when this happens, it will bring about great savings in health care resources.

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