oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - An evaluation of the diagnostic adequacy and immunocytochemistry of manual liquid-based smears in breast aspirates : original research



The aim of this study was to determine if the Syner-Med®/Cell-Solutions® liquid-based cytology (LBC) technique would provide adequate diagnostic material when applied to breast fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) specimens and to determine its suitability for immunocytochemistry. A prospective study was undertaken of 38 consecutive patients who underwent FNAB of breast masses in the Fine Needle Aspiration Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, over a period of six months. Conventional smear cytology slides (CSC) were formulated and the material that remained in the needle was used to prepare the LBC Syner-Med®/Cell-Solutions® slides. The CSC and LBC slides were evaluated by two pathologists. The assessed parameters were cellularity, background and representative diagnostic material. Immunocytochemical stains for pancytokeratin (MNF-116) and oestrogen receptor were performed in each case. In 33 cases (87%), LBC compared favourably with CSC. Adequacy rates of 84.2% for CSC and 76.3% for LBC were found. A diagnosis was made in 78.9% of the CSC cases and in 71% of the LBC cases. The LBC slides showed excellent results, with immunocytochemical staining for MNF-116 and oestrogen receptor. The Syner-Med®/Cell-Solutions® LBC fixative and preparation method provides an alternative technique for obtaining well fixed and prepared slides that are suitable for diagnostic cytology and immunocytochemistry.


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