Accuracy of cytology for diagnosis of lipomatous tumors: comparison with magnetic resonance and computed tomography findings in 175 cases
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CitationActa Radiol 2004, 45(8):840-6
AbstractPURPOSE: To assess the value of fine-needle aspiration cytology in the diagnostic work-up of lipomatous tumors of the extremities and trunk, and to identify specific radiological features that could aid in the preoperative evaluation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 175 patients with subfascial lipomatous tumors who had undergone preoperative magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography and fine-needle aspiration cytology were studied. The percentage of fat within the lesion was visually graded from the images as: none, 1-75%, 75-95%, or 95-100%. The histological and cytological diagnoses were compared and in discordant cases the radiological images were re-reviewed. RESULTS: There was cytological and histological concordance in 96% of lipomas and in 85% of atypical lipomatous tumors (ALT) and liposarcomas. Most discordant cases exhibited 1-75% fat. Radiological review suggested that cytological sampling problems due to tumor heterogeneity were the main cause of diagnostic difficulties. The majority of tumors with less than 75% fat were liposarcomas, and in no liposarcoma was the fat content higher than 75%. Both ALT and lipoma were found in the 95-100% group. CONCLUSION: Cytology can be highly accurate in the diagnosis of lipomatous tumors, including ALT; however, critical comparison with the radiological findings increases diagnostic security. In tumors with fat content visually assessed as less than 75% of the tumor volume, liposarcoma is the most likely diagnosis and a cytological diagnosis of ALT or lipoma should be questioned. In lesions with 75-95% fat, liposarcoma is unlikely, but FNAC is still indicated for safety. In lesions with 95-100% fat, FNAC is only indicated if the differentiation between lipoma and ALT influences the treatment strategy.
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