Sufficiency of FNAB aspirates of posterior uveal melanoma for cytologic versus GEP classification in 159 patients, and relative prognostic significance of these classifications

Zelia M. Correa, James J. Augsburger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the relative sufficiency of paired aspirates of posterior uveal melanomas obtained by FNAB for cytopathology and GEP, and their prognostic significance for predicting death from metastasis. Methods: Prospective non-randomized IRB-approved single-center longitudinal clinical study of 159 patients with posterior uveal melanoma sampled by FNAB in at least two tumor sites between 09/2007 and 12/2010. Cases were analyzed with regard to sufficiency of the obtained aspirates for cytopathologic classification and GEP classification. Statistical strength of associations between variables and GEP class was computed using Chi-square test. Cumulative actuarial survival curves of subgroups of these patients based on their cytopathologic versus GEP-assigned categories were computed by the Kaplan-Meier method. The endpoint for this survival analysis was death from metastatic uveal melanoma. Results: FNAB aspirates were insufficient for cytopathologic classification in 34 of 159 cases (21.9 %). In contrast, FNAB aspirates were insufficient for GEP classification in only one of 159 cases (0.6 %). This difference is statistically significant (P < 0.001). Six of 34 tumors (17.6 %) that yielded an insufficient aspirate for cytopathologic diagnosis were categorized as GEP class 2, while 43 of 125 tumors (34.7 %) that yielded a sufficient aspirate for cytopathologic diagnosis were categorized as GEP class 2. To date, 14 of the 49 patients with a GEP class 2 tumor (28.6 %) but only five of the 109 patients with a GEP class 1 tumor (5.6 %) have developed metastasis. Fifteen of 125 patients (12 %) whose tumors yielded sufficient aspirates for cytopathologic classification but only four of 34 patients (11.8 %) whose tumors yielded insufficient aspirates for cytopathologic classification developed metastasis. The median post-biopsy follow-up time for surviving patients in this series was 32.5 months. Cumulative actuarial 5-year probability of death from metastasis 14.1 % for those with an insufficient aspirate for cytopathologic classification versus 22.4 % for those with a sufficient aspirate for cytopathologic classification (log rank P = 0.68). In contrast, the cumulative actuarial 5-year probability of metastatic death was 8.0 % for those with an insufficient/unsatisfactory aspirate for GEP classification or GEP class 1 tumor, versus 45.0 % for those with a GEP class 2 tumor (log rank P = 0.005). Conclusion: This study confirmed that GEP classification of posterior uveal melanoma cells obtained by FNAB is feasible in almost all cases, including most in which FNAB yields an insufficient aspirate for cytodiagnosis. The study also confirmed that GEP classification is substantially better than cytologic classification for predicting subsequent metastasis and metastatic death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Volume252
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Biopsy, needle/methods
  • Choroidal melanoma
  • Cytology
  • Gene expression profile
  • Melanoma
  • Melanoma/metastasis
  • Survival prognosis
  • Uveal neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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