Cytotechnologist-attended on-site adequacy evaluation of thyroid fine-needle aspiration: Comparison with cytopathologists and correlation with the final interpretation

Matthew T. Olson, Armanda D. Tatsas, Syed Z. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent increases in the number of thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNAs) biopsies and the popularity of on-site evaluation for adequacy (OSEA) have led many practices, including ours, to rely on cytotechnologists for performing OSEA. We retrospectively analyzed the accuracy of a cytotechnologist against that of a cytopathologist in performing OSEA and making the final diagnosis. Of 2,261 thyroid FNA specimens evaluated over a 33-month period under ultrasound guidance with OSEA, the cytotechnologist attended 64.7% (1,462/2,261) of the procedures whereas the cytopathologist attended 35.3% (799/2,261). There was no difference in the adequacy downgrade rate for cytotechnologists compared with that for cytopathologists during this study period (4.1% vs 5.0% downgrade rate, P = .33). Regardless of who rendered the OSEA, subadequate specimens had a higher rate of indeterminate diagnosis (25.2%) than those specimens deemed adequate at the time of OSEA (11.9%, P = .00001). These results indicate that the accuracy of cytotechnologists is comparable with that of cytopathologists in conducting OSEA of the thyroid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Volume138
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • Cytopathologist
  • Cytotechnologist
  • On-site evaluation for adequacy
  • Thyroid FNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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