The evaluation of fine-needle procedures for the diagnosis of focal liver lesions in cirrhosis

Mauro Borzio, Franco Borzio, Roberto Macchi, Anna Maria Croce, Savino Bruno, Angelo Ferrari, Ernesto Servida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle aspiration, fine-needle biopsy and extranodular fine needle biopsy in identifying focal lesions in cirrhosis, 100 consecutive ultrasound detected nodules were studied. Seventy-three were hepatocellular carcinomas (31 were well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas), 23 were benign lesions (one angioma and 22 large regenerative nodules) and two were metastases. The lesions were divided according to maximum diameter as follows: 2030 mm in 33. In four cases there were multiple nodules of different sizes. Fine needle aspiration, intranodular fine needle biopsy and extranodular fine needle biopsy were obtained in each lesion. The sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy of each procedure were evaluated separately by three independent pathologists. Seven fine needle aspirations and three intranodular fine needle biopsies were considered inadequate. The highest diagnostic accuracy (96%) was obtained by the combined analysis of fine needle aspiration plus intranodular and extranodular fine needle biopsy, and this superiority was confirmed in each group of lesions. Fine needle aspiration showed a lower accuracy (48%) than intranodular fine needle biopsy (67%). When fine needle aspiration and intranodular fine needle biopsy were evaluated together, an accuracy of 91% was found. Intralesional fine needle biopsy plus extranodular fine needle biopsy analysis gave an accuracy of 78% and, particularly relevant, a specificity of 95%. These results indicate that, in patients with cirrhosis with nodular lesions <30 mm, fine needle biopsy is superior to fine needle aspiration and that the combined evaluation of fine needle aspiration plus intranodular and extranodular fine needle biopsy is the most accurate approach. In particular, the contribution of extranodular fine needle biopsy is especially important in improving specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Keywords

  • Cirrhosis
  • Fine-needle procedures
  • Focal lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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