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Cohen EG, Patel SG, Lin O, et al. Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy of Salivary Gland Lesions in a Selected Patient Population. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(6):773–778. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.6.773
To report the role of selective use of preoperative fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in patients with major salivary gland lesions at a tertiary care cancer center.
Retrospective review of FNAB results compared with final histologic diagnosis as the criterion standard.
An academic tertiary care cancer center.
A consecutive series of 258 patients who underwent FNAB of major salivary gland lesions between 1996 and 2000, of whom 169 had surgical resection.
Main Outcome Measures
Predictive value, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.
FNAB was performed in 169 (37%) of 463 salivary gland lesions undergoing surgical procedures. A total of 126 lesions were in the parotid gland and 44 in the submandibular gland. Seventy-nine lesions (46%) were malignant. There were 150 FNAB specimens (89%) that were satisfactory for evaluation. The FNAB diagnosis of malignant or suspicious lesion had positive and negative predictive values of 84% and 77%, respectively. Ten of 20 false-negative FNAB results were low-grade lymphoma on final histologic assessment. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy diagnosis of a benign neoplasm had positive and negative predictive values of 83% and 88%, respectively. A cytopathologic diagnosis of a nonneoplastic lesion was predictive in only 47% of cases. Fifteen (47%) of 32 lymphocyte-predominant FNAB specimens were lymphoma on final histologic assessment. Ten (20%) of 49 patients with history of a solid, non–head and neck malignancy had evidence of distant metastasis to the salivary gland by histologic and/or cytopathologic assessment.
An FNAB diagnosis of malignant or neoplastic major salivary gland disease is generally predictive of final histologic diagnosis. The predictive value of a negative FNAB finding is low, and should not supersede clinical suspicion. Cytologic findings of a lymphocyte-predominant lesion should prompt further workup to rule out lymphoma.
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