Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of salivary gland tumours performed at a tertiary cancer hospital over a time period of 10 years.
Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out between 1995 and 2004 to review the cases of patients with salivary gland tumours who had undergone pre-operative FNA and for whom definite histology was either by tru-cut biopsy or by histopathological examination of the operative specimen.
Results: A total of 107 cases of salivary gland tumours were treated during that period, but only 82 cases diagnosed by FNAC could be correlated with histological and clinical data and were considered for this study. The sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy, PPV and NPV were estimated considering 54 benign and 28 malignant cases. Sensitivity was 90% (28/31), specificity was 98% (54/55), diagnostic accuracy was 95.1% (82/86), PPV was 96% and NPV was 94%.
Discussion: This study confirms that FNA cytology is a technique that offers high sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy in salivary gland tumour diagnosis.