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CytoJournal 2006,  3:12

Fast drying of Fine Needle Aspiration slides using a hand held fan : Impact on turn around time and staining quality

Department of Pathology, Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mousa A Al-Abbadi
Department of Pathology, Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1186/1742-6413-3-12

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To analyze the impact of using a hand held fan to speed the air-drying process during immediate adequacy evaluation of Fine Needle Aspirations. The effect on turn around time and staining quality is evaluated. Two mirror image air-dried smears for each pass were prepared. One was subjected to a small hand-held fan with a fan diameter of 7 cm held an average distance of 3 to 5 cm from the slide. The other smear was left to dry without a fan. A total of 93 consecutive pairs were evaluated over a 2-month duration. The average time needed for air-drying using the fan was 73 seconds (range 10-300 seconds, standard error 6.986), while it was 200 seconds (range 15-645 seconds, standard error 17.799) for those without fan. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Smears were then evaluated for single cells, cell clusters and background material and no appreciable difference in stain quality was noted between the 2 groups. The use of a small hand-held fan for air-drying shortened the drying time for FNA adequacy by an average of 127 seconds (63% time reduction) for each pass. The quality of staining was comparable. Using a fan is highly recommended.


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