The aim of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology and core needle biopsies (CNBs) in a series of primary soft tissue and bone lesions and to test a possible system for reporting results of FNA cytology of soft tissue lesion.
This retrospective study encompassed 828 primary soft tissue and bone lesions, analysed with FNA, CNB and/or surgical specimen in order to perform sensitivity/specificity as well as accuracy analyses. The series was then used to test a system for reporting soft tissue cytopathology with six categories and the risk of malignancy in each category was calculated.
With a malignant diagnosis defined as positive test result, FNA and CNB analysis showed sensitivity of 87% and 94%, respectively, and specificity of 89% and 95%, respectively. FNA and CNB analyses identified the correct histopathological entity of the examined lesion in 55% and 66%, respectively. The risk of malignancy within the tested categories was non‐diagnostic 42%, non‐neoplastic 0%, atypia of unknown significance 46%, neoplasm benign 3%, neoplasm of unknown malignant potential 27%, suspicious for malignancy 72% and malignant 97%.
FNA cytology is a suitable tool to determine the malignant potential of a sampled soft tissue/bone lesion but is inferior to CNB in defining the correct entity. A standardised reporting system might improve the clinical management of patients with soft tissue tumours examined primarily by FNA cytology.
The study evaluated the diagnostic utility of fine needle aspiration cytology and core needle biopsies in 828 primary soft tissue and bone lesions. In a second step, a possible system for reporting results of fine needle aspiration cytology of soft tissue lesion was tested.