What is Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration and Cytology?
It’s a safe procedure for diagnosing suspicious lumps or masses found in the neck, chest, abdomen, or groin area.
Ultrasound imaging is used to locate and identify these lesions. A needle is inserted through the skin and guided into the lesion under ultrasound guidance. This helps in targeting the most appropriate site for biopsy.
The sample obtained during FNA is sent to the laboratory, where it undergoes cytological examination. If malignant cells are found, additional procedures such as immunohistochemistry may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
FNAC is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. No general anesthesia is required. Patients usually go home within 2 hours after the procedure.
In case of bleeding, pressure dressing is applied. Typically, patients do not require any follow-up care. However, if there is persistent bleeding, a repeat aspiration may be needed.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration cytology is used for diagnosing breast lumps detected during routine mammography. This involves inserting a thin needle under ultrasound guidance into a lump in order to obtain cells which are then examined under a microscope.
An alternative technique is ultrasound-guided core biopsy where a larger sample of tissue may be removed for analysis.
Cytology is the study of cell structure and properties using microscopy. Cells are usually stained with special dyes so that individual components such as chromosomes, proteins, and enzymes can be identified. These stains serve two purposes, to identify the type of cell and to reveal any abnormalities present within the cells.
The term “cytology” came from the Greek words kytos (cell) and logia (study). Cell biology is also known as cytobiochemistry because it combines both disciplines.
How should one prepare for Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration and Cytology?
The most important skill of an ultrasound technician is to learn how to hold the transducer and move it across the body while keeping track of where it is. Once you master that, you’ll be able to perform a wide range of tasks including finding cystic lesions, tracking tumours and even guiding needles during fine needle aspiration (FNA).
You may also find yourself performing FNA procedures under direct visualization, such as when you do ultrasound guided biopsies for breast cancer screening.
Ultrasounds are used to guide FNA because they provide real time images of the tissue sample that can show abnormalities that would otherwise go undetected.
The procedure itself is usually very quick and involves inserting the ultrasound probe into the patient’s body and pressing against them. Then, the ultrasound operator moves the probe along the body in order to visualize the area where the sample is taken.
Once the area is identified, the operator uses the needle attached to the ultrasound probe to collect the samples.
Afterward, the operator removes the probe, cleans the site and sends the specimen to the laboratory to determine whether there are any abnormal cells present.
How does the procedure work in Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration and Cytology?
Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is a minimally invasive technique used to obtain tissue samples for cancer diagnosis. A thin needle is inserted into the mass under ultrasound guidance and aspirated to collect cells from the lesion. This method avoids surgical biopsy and reduces patient discomfort. FNAC is also useful for obtaining cell material for histological examination.
The benefits of ultrasonography include real time imaging of the lesion, minimal invasiveness and reduced cost compared to surgery.
Cytology is a diagnostic test that uses microscopic analysis of cells obtained from any body fluid. It is performed mainly on blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. Cell morphology and staining properties help identify abnormal cells. Cytology is fast, inexpensive and easy to perform. In addition, it provides information regarding the presence of malignant tumours. On the other hand, it cannot detect precancerous lesions.
In conclusion, FNAC is an effective tool in the management of thyroid nodules and helps reduce unnecessary surgeries.