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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fallacies of the fine needle aspiration cytology of surgical lesions of liver.

Seventy-six cases of surgical hepatomegaly were subjected to fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) for initial diagnosis. Primary malignancies, as suspected clinically with adjunction of other investigative procedures, were 29 cases of whom 25 were confirmed by biopsy or therapy. Secondary deposits in liver were 27 of whom 15 were confirmed by therapy. Inflammatory lesions were 9 of whom 6 were confirmed by therapeutic response with specific therapy. Benign lesions were 10 of whom 5 were confirmed by surgery. Diagnosis of malignancies of liver is rather easier than that of benign lesions like hydatid cysts of liver which were Casoni's test negative; and hepatocellular adenoma, as the aspirate in the former is clear fluid and that of the latter is only normal looking liver cells. Thus, in respect of benign lesions of liver, FNAC diagnosis may be clinched after due consideration to the clinical findings, radiological and ultrasonographic findings and ultimately confirmed by exploration. Thus the fallacy lies in aspiration of normal looking liver cells whereby the histology may prove it to be hepatocellular adenoma, well differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma and secondary deposits where the exact site has not been hit. Ultrasonogram (USG) guidance helps in these cases where the same facility is available. This fallacy can again be avoided, where USG guidance is not available, by imparting due importance to clinical findings, USG findings and also by repeat smear.[1]


  1. Fallacies of the fine needle aspiration cytology of surgical lesions of liver. Roy, M., Bhattacharyya, A., Dasgupta, S., Sanyal, S. Journal of the Indian Medical Association. (1994) [Pubmed]
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