Background: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is a common procedure as a diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. However, it is unclear whether the gauge of the needle affects the quality of cytology. Objective: This study compared the quality of cytologic samples obtained via FNA using 22- or 25-gauge needles. Methods: Fine-needle aspiration was performed on 50 masses (cutaneous, subcutaneous, or intracavitary) obtained from client-owned animals. The size of the needle was randomly assigned using either of the following two sequences: 22-25-22 gauge or 25-22-25 gauge. Samples were evaluated by two board-certified clinical pathologists to assess cellularity, blood contamination, amount of cellular debris, degree of cellular trauma, and the overall ability to make a diagnosis for each sample. Results: No significant difference was detected between the 22- and 25-gauge needle samples for cellularity, whereas a significant difference was present for blood contamination, amount of cellular debris, and degree of cellular trauma. The overall ability to make a diagnosis was not significantly affected by the needle gauge. The degree of cellular trauma was significantly increased in intracavitary samples. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Needle gauge is a contributing factor to FNA sample quality. However, it did not affect the overall ability to make a diagnosis. Samples obtained using 25-gauge needles resulted in less blood contamination yet increased cellular trauma compared to 22-gauge needle samples.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by Companion Animal Trust Fund from the Atlantic
© 2019 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology