Fine Needle Aspiration


Use of Test

Evaluation of sample for premalignant, malignant, inflammatory or infectious changes. Includes needle aspiration specimens of any mass or neoplasm, not limited to: bone, breast, kidney, liver, lung, lymph node, pancreas, prostate, thyroid, synovium

Patient Preparation

As per clinician


  • Label slides with patient’s full legal name
  • Label all containers with patient’s full legal name, DOB and DOS
  • Place one drop of material onto slide and smear material with another slide
  • Immediately fix one slide in 95% ethanol, or use spray fixative
  • If using 95% ethanol, fix slides for at least 15 minutes
  • Allow the other slide to air dry
  • Write “A.D.” on the slide allowed to air dry
  • Needles should be rinsed in a balanced salt solution container or directly into NGYN ThinPrep® vial

WSLH cytology requisition form #141 must include:

  • Patient’s full legal names
  • Clinic medical record number, if available
  • Date of birth
  • Date of collection
  • Specimen source
  • Clinic, clinician name and phone number
  • Pertinent clinical history
  • Payment information

Diagnostic Range

  • Negative for malignant cells
  • Atypical cells
  • Suspicious for malignancy
  • Positive for malignancy
  • May include inflammatory, bacterial and viral findings


  • Abnormal findings must be correlated with history and other test results.
  • The technique of aspiration and slide preparation requires some training.
  • Poorly fixed or air-dried samples impair evaluation.
  • The cytology laboratory can provide educational materials and demonstrations for interested clinicians.
  • Test has both a false negative and false positive rate.



Turnaround Time

24 hours

PLEASE NOTE: Results may be delayed or the sample rejected if pertinent and/or required information needs clarification or is missing.

Test Codes

92701    FNA

Specimen Submission Requirements

FNA Kit and Mailers – Instructions For Submitting Specimens For Fine Needle Aspiration Evaluations. This kit is intended for collection and shipment of fine needle aspiration specimens for analysis of premalignant or malignant disease.


  • Frosted-end glass slides
  • Plastic slide holder
  • ThinPrep® vial
  • Absorbent paper
  • Styrofoam mailers
  • Mailing labels
  • Biohazard sticker

Mandatory Requirements

  • Write patient’s full legal name on slide
  • Write patient’s name on ThinPrep® vial
  • Complete WSLH requisition form #141
  • Collect specimen and transfer to glass slide
  • Rinse the needle in the ThinPrep® solution

Specific Packing and Mailing Instructions

  • Insert glass slide in plastic slide holder
  • Wrap ThinPrep® vial with absorbent paper and put in a biohazard bag
  • Put the biohazard bag and plastic slide holder into the styrofoam mailer
  • Label the styrofoam mailer with the following:
    • Your laboratory/clinic’s address
    • WSLH Cytology Department address
    • Diagnostic specimen label
    • Biohazard sticker
  • Place completed requisition form in the styrofoam mailer

PLEASE NOTE: The specimen does not need to be refrigerated or packed with ice. The styrofoam mailer does not need to be placed in a biohazard bag.