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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(12):2962-2967

Original Article
Clinical usefulness of fine needle aspiration cytology in patients less than 20 years old: a
10-year experience at a single institution

Sunzoo Kim, Eun Jeong Jang, Ji Yun Jeong, Ji Young Park

Department of Pathology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea

Received October 1, 2013; Accepted October 27, 2013; Epub November 15, 2013; Published December 1, 2013

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify the spectrum of cytological diagnoses and evaluate the diagnostic effectiveness of fine
needle aspiration cytology (FNA) in patients less than 20 years old. The subjects were selected by retrospectively reviewing records from 1999
to 2009. Selected patients less than 20 years old underwent FNA. Cytological and histological slides of samples from the subjects were
reviewed. Our study included a total of 909 subjects with a mean age of 14.6 years. The majority of the FNA samples were taken from lymph
nodes (n = 448, 49.3%), with the remaining aspirates obtained from the thyroid gland (n = 247, 27.2%), soft tissues of head and neck masses
(n = 106, 11.7%), salivary glands (n = 75, 8.3%), breasts (n = 18, 1.9%), skins (n = 9, 1.0%) and soft tissues of extremity (n = 6, 0.7%). The
majority (87.6%, n = 796) of the FNA samples were categorized as ‘benign’, with the remaining designated as ‘atypical lesion’ (n = 18, 2.0%),
‘malignant’ (n = 24, 2.6%), or ‘inadequate specimen’ (n = 71, 7.8%). FNA accuracy was 92% for diagnosing cancer. Specificity and sensitivity
were 99% and 63%, respectively. Our study first revealed that FNA has a high specificity for diagnosing cancer in various anatomical locations
in young patients and can be confidently used as an effective tool for diagnosing malignancies in young individuals with a clinically suspicious
lesion. (IJCEP1310001).

Keywords: Fine needle aspiration, cytology, children and adolescents, sensitivity, specificity

Address correspondence to: Dr. Ji Young Park, Department of Pathology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National
University School of Medicine, 50 Samduk-dong 2 Ga, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea, Zip code: 700-721. Tel: +82-53-420-5247; Fax: +82-53-
426-1525; E-mail: jyppark@gmail.com