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October 17, 1966

Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy: Uses as a Direct Adjunct in Clinical Diagnostic Work

JAMA. 1966;198(3):330-331. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110160158061

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This fascinating monograph on the technique of fine-needle biopsy was prepared by Dr. Söderström after ten years of experience in this method, and diagnosis of aspirations from 6,000 patients. The material included aspirates from effusions, lymphatic tissue, salivary glands, thyroid, breast, lung, spleen, liver, kidney, and prostate. The author, a clinician, took most of the aspirations with very fine needles. The aspirate, often microscopic in amount, was smeared on a slide, air dried, and stained according to the May-Grünweld-Giemsa method. The slides resembled bone marrow smears and were composed of individual noncohesive cells rather than architecturally preserved tissue sections.

Traumatic complications occurred 19 times in 69 lung punctures, and the author believes that needle aspiration of the lung should be attempted only when all other diagnostic methods have failed. Occasionally, intra-abdominal puncture might penetrate a viscus, but in the author's experience the bore of the needle was so fine this