Diagnosis of recurrent gynecologic malignancy with fine-needle aspiration cytology

John D. Nash, Thomas W. Burke, Joan E. Woodward, Kevin L. Hall, Edward B. Weiser, Paul B. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Between 1980-1985, 177 fine-needle aspirations were performed on 139 patients suspected of having recurrent gynecologic malignancy. Suspected sites of recurrence included a pelvic mass (122), peripheral lymph node (39), and a variety of other locations (16). There were 69 positives, 79 negatives, eight suspicious specimens, and 21 specimens inadequate for interpretation. Excluding suspicious or inadequate specimens, the results of the remaining 148 evaluable aspirations were confirmed by histopathologic correlation (35) or subsequent clinical course (113). Because there were no false positives, the specificity of the technique was 100%. The sensitivity was 68%, with an associated false-negative rate of 32%. The predictive value of a positive was 100%; that of a negative was 57%. An analysis of the false-negative results failed to show a correlation with cell type, lesion location, previous radiotherapy, or previous chemotherapy. The complication rate was less than 1%. These data support the conclusion that fine-needle aspiration cytology is a safe, highly specific method for diagnosing recurrent gynecologic malignancy. However, in patients with negative fine-needle aspiration cytology and suspected recurrent disease, it would appear that further evaluation is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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