Correlation between fine-needle aspiration cytology and histopathology in the evaluation of cutaneous and subcutaneous masses from dogs and cats.Vet Clin Pathol. 2006 Mar; 35(1):24-30.VC
Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is commonly used as a diagnostic procedure to evaluate superficial and deep masses in animals. However, few studies have addressed the accuracy of FNAC in the evaluation of cutaneous and subcutaneous masses in a clinical setting.
The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of FNAC as compared with histopathology in the diagnosis of cutaneous and subcutaneous masses from dogs and cats.
Cytologic and histopathologic specimens obtained between 1999 and 2003 from 292 palpable cutaneous and subcutaneous masses obtained from 242 dogs and 50 cats were retrospectively evaluated. Cytologic samples were obtained by FNA and histopathologic samples were collected by surgical biopsy or at necropsy. Concordance was determined and the accuracy of FNAC for the diagnosis of neoplasia was determined using histopathology as the gold standard.
Of 292 specimens, 49 (from 44 dogs and 5 cats) were excluded due to poor cellularity of the cytologic specimen (retrieval rate 83.2%, n = 243). A cytologic diagnosis of neoplasia was obtained in 176 cases (175 true positives and 1 false positive compared with histopathology). Sixty-seven cytology samples were classified as non-neoplastic (46 true negatives, 21 false negatives compared with histopathology). Overall, the cytologic diagnosis was in agreement with the histopathologic diagnosis in 90.9% (221/243) of cases. For diagnosing neoplasia, cytology had a sensitivity of 89.3%, a specificity of 97.9%, a positive predictive value of 99.4%, and a negative predictive value of 68.7%.
The results of this study confirmed FNAC as a reliable and useful diagnostic procedure for the evaluation of palpable cutaneous and subcutaneous lesions in small animal practice.