Aspiration cytology laboratory

Our department has been performing, later developing, and improving the methods of fine-needle aspiration cytology for more, than two decades. Fine needle aspiration biopsies (FNAB) are performed in close cooperation with the interventional radiologists of the Department of Medical Imaging.  Our methodology is a well-recognized model in our country. The essence is, that all the samples are taken by image-guided fine-needle aspiration with minimally invasive and practically painless manner from superficial (breast, thyroid, lymph node, salivary gland) and deep (soft tissues, pancreas, kidney, liver, and lung) organs, usually in the form of outpatient service. In case of poor quality sample, the examination is promptly repeatable and the FNAB could be performed even on multiple targets. The aspirated cells are examined on standard smears, but the rest of the sample which is retained in the syringe and needle is washed into the fixative making them collectible and ready to analyze. The method is sufficiently rapid for establishing the diagnosis „on-site” or within few hours.  Besides, the „liquid-based” method developed in our laboratory is suitable for applying the full spectrum of ancillary techniques (immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, PCR-based molecular methods) available in our department. At the same time, FNAB samples are appropriate to determine the prognostic and diagnostic oncological markers used for the clinical decisions regarding the latest treatment strategies (targeted and immunotherapies) even on a small amount of sample. We developed and improved the so-called „cell block” technique, which was combined with the „liquid-based” method and resulted in a „waistless retrieval” of cells that remained in the syringe and needle. After fixation, these cells are suitable for embedding in paraffin with all of the advantages of the FFPE technique.

As part of the clinicopathological cooperation and quality control, we follow our cases and compare the results of the cytology with the histology. Our extensive consultation activity with the clinician colleagues certainly helps them in the selection of optimal treatment strategies. Our philosophy is to support the patients’ treatment with the most information, generated as quickly as possible, and with the least load on the patients.