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CytoJournal 2007,  4:20

Scope of FNAC in the diagnosis of soft tissue tumors-A study from a tertiary cancer referral center in India

1 Dept of Pathology, Tata Memorial Centre, Dr E. B. Road, Parel, Mumbai, 400012, India
2 Clinical Trials Coordinator, Epidemiology & Clinical Trials Unit (ECTU), Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, Khargar, Navi Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharat Rekhi
Dept of Pathology, Tata Memorial Centre, Dr E. B. Road, Parel, Mumbai, 400012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1186/1742-6413-4-20

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Background: Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) forms one of the first diagnostic tools in the evaluation of tumors. Its role in diagnosing soft tissue tumors (STT) has been fairly documented, as well as debated. Present study was aimed at evaluating its scope in diagnosing 127 cases of soft tissue tumors. Methods: Conventional Pap and MGG staining was available in all the cases. Immunocytochemistry (ICC) was performed in 15 cases. Histopathological details were available in 115 cases. Results: 50% cases were referred for a primary diagnosis, while 26.8% & 22.8% cases were evaluated for recurrent and metastatic lesions, respectively. Extremities were the commonest sites. On FNAC, 101 cases (79.5%) were labeled as malignant, whereas 10 cases (7.9%) were labeled as benign. The remaining 16 cases (11%) were not categorized and were labeled as 'unsure/not specified'. Histopathological confirmation in 115 cases, gave a diagnostic accuracy of 98%, with a positive predictive value of 98% in malignant cases and a negative predictive value of 100% in benign cases. Two cases were false positive. Among the various cytological categories, 60 cases (47.2%) were of spindle cell type, followed by 32 (25.2%) of round cell type and 14 cases (11%) of lipomatous type. Other 12 cases (9.4%) were of pleomorphic type; 7 (5.5%) cases of epithelioid type and remaining 2 cases were of myxoid type. All the round cell, pleomorphic and myxoid type of tumors were sarcomas, whereas 73.3% cases of spindle cell type were labeled as 'malignant'. Exact cytological sub typing was offered in 58 cases, with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) as the most frequently sub typed tumor. The two false positive malignant cases were of fibromatosis and a pigmented schwannoma, on biopsy. Out of 28 metastatic lesions, lymph nodes were the commonest site for metastasis, with epithelioid tumors that formed highest percentage of metastatic cases. Conclusion: FNAC is fairly specific and sensitive in STT diagnoses for primary, recurrent and metastatic lesions. The cytological types, especially round cell and pleomorphic sarcomas, can be quickly identified. Clinicopathological correlation with ICC as an adjunct, are valuable in exact sub typing.


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