Ultrasonically guided fine-needle aspiration of liver lesions

Am J Gastroenterol. 1992 Sep;87(9):1138-41.


The aim of the present study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonically guided fine-needle aspiration for liver lesions detected by ultrasound scan. A total of 142 aspirations were carried out in 129 patients with unifocal or multifocal liver lesions suspected of malignancy. The aspiration was made with a 22-gauge needle, guided by ultrasound. Based on histological, cytological, and clinical findings, final diagnoses were reached in 123 patients, 96 of whom had malignant liver disease and 27 benign liver disease. Among the 96 patients with malignant liver disease, the cytological findings revealed malignancy in 78 patients (81.3%) and suspected malignancy in five patients (5.1%), but failed to demonstrate malignancy in 13 patients (13.3%). Among 27 patients with benign liver disease, all the cytological findings indicated benignancy. The overall sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for cytological findings were 86.5%, 100%, 100%, and 76.9%, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonically guided fine-needle aspiration was 89.4%. In one patient with incipient chronic disseminated intravascular coagulation, a fatal intraperitoneal bleeding complicated the procedure. We conclude that ultrasonically guided FNA for cytologic diagnosis of liver lesions is highly accurate and is only rarely associated with fatal complication.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Diseases / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography