[Histonet] Re: FNA stain

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 19:34:29 CST 2009

Debbie M. Boyd, HT(ASCP), Chief Histologist, Southside Regional
Medical Center in Petersburg, Virginia asks:

>>This question is for those of you who perform fine needle aspirations. What stain are you using for your immediate evaluation?  Or do you give an immediate evaluation/adequacy?<<

This is a really good question that demands a careful answer. You need
to do what your cytotechnologist and your pathologist are comfortable
with. Air-dried smears stained with a rapid azure-eosin (Diff-Quik and
generic equivalents) stain are simple and fast - IF your pathologist
has been trained to interpret them, which I (I'm 70 years old, mind
you) frankly wasn't. I can live with a good H and E stain - a
full-dress Pap stain is nice, but probably takes too long to do.

The cytotechnologist and pathologist certainly have to give an
immediate decision as to the adequacy of the specimen. There's a CPT
code for that, even. And sometimes what's needed is a flat-out

But this is something that needs to be worked out in advance - not
under the stress of a high-pressure clinical situation, but
comfortably, with pizza or worse.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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