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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 18

Journal 6, June 2016
pages: 350-353

Learning Curve of Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology of Head and Neck Masses

Summary

Background:

Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is used to provide rapid diagnostic information regarding masses of the head and neck. To achieve good results, adequate training is essential.

Objectives:

To evaluate the efficacy of FNAC in the diagnosis of head and neck masses performed by residents and attending physicians.

Methods:

Palpable guided FNA biopsies from 166 consecutive patients with head and neck masses, excluding thyroid, who were treated in our department between 2008 and 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated.

Results:

A total of 193 FNACs were performed in 161 patients (5 patients were excluded due to age under 18). Mean age was 57.3 years; female to male ratio was approximately 5:4. Most FNACs were performed in masses in the parotid gland (37.3%), 14.5% in the posterior neck, 19.1% in the lateral neck, 15% at level 1, and 9.3% at level 6. The median size of the masses aspirated was 2 cm. Most FNACs were performed by an experienced physician (2.5:1). About 25% of the patients required a second FNAC. Almost 70% of FNACs were diagnostic. Of these, 71.2% were of benign processes and 28.8% of malignancies.

Conclusions:

An FNAC of a palpable mass in all sites of the neck, excluding the thyroid, can be done as an office procedure with reasonable results without imaging guidance. About 25% of patients will require another biopsy. The procedure is not difficult to master, as evident by the fact that there were no differences in the results of FNACs performed by an attending otolaryngologist or a resident.
 

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