Background: Salivary gland masses constitute a diagnostic challenge in daily clinical practice and tissue sampling is required to establish a diagnosis. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy (UGFNAB) in the diagnosis of salivary gland lesions.
Methods: From January 2007 to September 2010, a total of 158 patients who underwent both UGFNAB and surgical excision for salivary gland mass lesions were included in this study. Patients with insufficient sampling or inconclusive cytology diagnosis were excluded from the analysis of diagnostic accuracy of UGFNAB.
Results: UGFNAB yielded sufficient sampling for analysis in 137 patients, leading to a diagnostic yield of 86.7%. Among these 137 patients, 24 patients were confirmed to have malignant tumors. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of UGFNAB for malignancy were 66.7%, 98.2%, and 92.7%, respectively. No UGFNAB-related complications were encountered.
Conclusions: UGFNAB of salivary gland masses is a safe technique that offers high specificity and accuracy but moderate diagnostic yield and sensitivity.