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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2003 April;94(2):97-102

language: English

Imprint cytology for rapid evaluation of lung and mediastinal lesions

Tamiolakis D., Mikroulis D., Lambropoulou M., Bitzikas G., Didilis V., Kotini A., Papadopoulos N., Bougioukas G.


Background. Frozen-section biopsy (FSB) of pulmonary and mediastinal tumors is commonly used in the evaluation of diagnostic tissue in thoracic surgery. However, FSB can be labor intensive for the pathology department and time-consuming while the patient is anaesthetised. Imprint cytology is more rapid than the FSB procedure (average, 1 min versus 10 min per tissue sample) and allows more extensive sampling of the specimen.
Methods. In this preliminary study we compared the diagnostic accuracy of imprint cytology and permanent sections on lung and mediastinal lesions from 38 patients.
Results. There were no false-positive results and 2 false-negative results. The sensitivity was 99.13%, the specificity was 100% and the pos-itive predictive value was 100%, as no false- positive results were observed. These results match favorably with those in other studies comparing the diagnostic accuracy of im- printing cytology with that of FSB and with reported accuracy rates of the FSB method.
Conclusions. Our findings confirm the usefulness of this procedure as an adjunt or alternative for FSB in the pathologic evaluation of lung and mediastinal space-occupying lesions.

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