June 1985

Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy in the Management of Solid Breast Tumors

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Somers, Kaplan, and Rosenberg and Ms Somers) and Pathology (Dr Young), Albert Einstein Medical Center and Temple University (Dr Somers), Philadelphia; and the Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson (Dr Bernhard).

Arch Surg. 1985;120(6):673-677. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390300023004

• Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) is a cost-effective and clinically reliable tool in the management of palpable solid breast lesions. Review of 369 FNA biopsy specimens revealed an accuracy of 92%. The sensitivity was 78% and the specificity was 100%. There were no false-positive results. Positive predictive value was 100%, and negative predictive value was 78%. A positive FNA biopsy result, which confirms a clinical (physical examination and mammography) impression of carcinoma, can be the basis for planning and performing a definitive procedure. Despite the absence of false-positive results, we have not proceeded with a definitive surgical procedure if an FNA biopsy result disagreed with our clinical impression. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy may be used to reassure and support both the patient's and the surgeon's decision not to perform a biopsy of "subsuspicious lesions." A negative FNA biopsy result does not exonerate the clinically suspicious lesion.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:673-677)