Diagnostic Accuracy of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology in Lesions of Oral Cavity and Salivary Glands: A Clinico-Pathological Study

The Open Dentistry Journal 28 Sept 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1745017901814010782



Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is a rapid, reliable and safe diagnostic tool used for various lesions of the oral cavity and salivary glands. The present study was undertaken to categorize the cytomorphology of the oral cavity and salivary gland lesions on FNAC and to assess the accuracy of FNAC in arriving at a diagnosis.

Materials and Methods:

A prospective study on oral cavity swellings and salivary gland aspirates was done during a 2 year period from August 2015 to July 2017 in which a total of 70 FNAC’s were performed. There were 12 aspirates obtained from oral cavity swellings and 58 aspirates were obtained from salivary glands. Histopathological evaluation of 65 lesions was done and was considered as gold standard. Only the lesions undergoing histopathological confirmation were included in the study. The sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility index were evaluated for accuracy of FNAC.


Hard palate (33.33%) was the predominantly aspirated site in the oral cavity. Parotid gland was the predominant gland aspirated (60.32%) among the involved salivary glands. Non-neoplastic lesions constituted 18.47% cases whereas neoplastic lesions were 81.53% (60.00% benign and 21.53% malignant). Pleomorphic adenoma (28.65%) was the most common benign lesion in the oral cavity involving hard palate and as salivary gland neoplasm (70.54%). Squamous cell carcinoma (60%) was the most common malignant lesion of oral cavity involving the tongue and buccal mucosa and adenoid cystic carcinoma (44.45%) was the commonest malignancy in salivary gland malignant neoplasms. The overall sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of FNAC in the present study were 89.5%, 100% and 85% respectively.


FNAC is a safe, cost-effective and reliable technique effective in diagnosing the spectrum of different lesions in the oral and maxillofacial region.

Keywords: FNAC, Oral lesions, Salivary gland tumors, Cytological diagnosis, Accuracy, Hard palate.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub