The use of fine-needle aspiration biopsy in children.


Fine-needle aspiration biopsy has become increasingly popular for evaluating both palpable and nonpalpable masses. Judging from the current body of literature, this procedure is underused by American pediatricians. We report a series of 84 pediatric patients--younger than 16 years--who underwent 92 fine-needle aspiration biopsies to evaluate a large variety of masses. The results of 51 (55%) were benign, and 33 (36%) biopsies revealed malignancy. In two cases (2%) the findings were suggestive of malignancy, and in six cases (7%), insufficient material was rendered for diagnosis. Either histologic or clinical follow-up or both were available for 85 procedures. Based on these cases, the sensitivity of 97% and the specificity was 95%, indicating that fine-needle aspiration biopsy is a good method for screening and observing patients for various malignant tumors in a variety of organs.

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