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Use of fine needle aspiration in veterinary practices in UK
Fine needle Aspiration and cytology belong to the most useful and fastest diagnostic tools in veterinary practice. However, this tool has been underestimated over years. This new study aimed to document the fine needle aspiration methods used by UK veterinary practitioners for the assessment of cutaneous masses and relate this to the achievement of a representative sample.

An internet-based questionnaire was designed and publicised in the UK national veterinary press, at a national surgical meeting, and in letters to veterinary surgeons.

One hundred and seventy respondents replied to the questionnaire: 58‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ2% sampled cutaneous masses on the basis of appearance or behaviour; 41‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ3% sampled every cutaneous mass.

Practitioners with a greater oncological caseload or who graduated more recently were more likely to recommend fine needle aspiration for every cutaneous mass (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ019 and P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ0002 respectively); 66‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ5% of respondents applied suction during fine needle aspiration; 89% of all respondents used a 2 or 5 mL syringe in combination with a 21 or 23‚ÄČG needle.

There was no statistically significant association between achievement of a representative sample and syringe (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ64) or needle size (P‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ0‚ÄȬ∑‚ÄČ63).

Fine needle aspiration is widely used in UK practice, but may be underutilised in practices with lower oncological caseloads.

Survey participants reported a high rate of representative samples obtained using all the commonly used techniques.

Further work is required to confirm these observations.


Source: Bowlt, K. L., Newton, R., Murphy, S., Blackwood, L. and Starkey, M. (2014), Prospective study to investigate the use of fine needle aspiration techniques in UK veterinary practice. Journal of Small Animal Practice. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12234


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