JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endoscopic ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration of lymph nodes and solid masses: factors influencing the cellularity and adequacy of the aspirate

Eric Wee, Sandeep Lakhtakia, Rajesh Gupta, Anuradha Sekaran, Rakesh Kalapala, Amitabh Monga, Saravanan Arjunan, Duvvuru Nageshwar Reddy
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2012, 46 (6): 487-93
22688144

GOALS: To study the factors that influence the cellularity and adequacy of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA).

BACKGROUND: An on-site cytopathology service is preferred during EUS-guided FNA. However, this is not always available. Factors that influence the aspirate cellularity and adequacy have not been well defined in the absence of on-site cytopathology.

STUDY: EUS-guided FNA procedures without an on-site cytopathologist from a single center were retrospectively studied. FNA of solid masses and lymph nodes (LN) were included. The FNA cellularity, hemorrhagic content, and endoscopists' assessment of adequacy were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 166 patients from January 2009 to October 2010 were included. A total of 520 FNA passes were performed. Of the 166 lesions, 70 (42.2%) were solid masses and 96 (57.8%) were LNs. A 22-G needle was used in 72.3% and 25 G in 27.7% of the patients. The median (range) number of FNA passes was 3 (1 to 7) for LNs and 3 (1 to 5) for solid masses. With this, the endoscopists had an accuracy of 92.2% (153/166) for obtaining an adequate aspirate. Of the 166 samples, 4 (2.4%) were acellular, 20 (12.0%) sparsely cellular, 52 (31.4%) moderately cellular, and 90 (54.2%) highly cellular. The 25-G needle had significantly more adequate aspirates than the 22-G needle for solid masses (P=0.011). Also, increasing passes correlated with higher cellularity (P=0.002) and an adequate aspirate (P=0.021). No correlation was found for LN FNA. Lesion size did not influence the cellularity or adequacy (P>0.05). The degree of hemorrhage was not influenced by the needle gauge, number of passes, or lesion size. The diagnostic yield was not affected by hemorrhage in the sample (P>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: EUS-guided FNA obtains a high proportion of adequate aspirates for LNs and solid masses, even without an on-site cytopathologist. Small proportions of inadequate samples still occur. For solid masses, a 25-G needle with at least 3 passes is more likely to provide an adequate aspirate than a 22-G needle and fewer passes. Hemorrhage did not affect the cytopathology's ability to make a diagnosis.

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