Clinical Utility of Cytology from Preoperative Percutaneous Fine Needle Aspirates of Solitary Liver Masses in 220 Dogs: A Retrospective Study (2009-2019). Academic Article uri icon


  • When a solitary liver mass is identified in a dog, a fine-needle aspirate (FNA) is commonly employed to attempt to obtain a diagnosis. Little information is provided in the literature evaluating the sensitivity/specificity of FNA cytology for solitary liver masses. We hypothesized that liver lesion size nor the presence of cavitation would impact the success of cytological diagnosis. Medical records were obtained for 220 client-owned dogs. Inclusion criteria included preoperative abdominal imaging, percutaneous FNA of a solitary hepatic mass with cytologic interpretation by a board-certified pathologist, and a surgical biopsy or mass excision yielding a histopathological diagnosis. Six dogs (2.7%) experienced a complication after FNA, none considered severe. The agreement rate for correct cytologic diagnosis was 22.9% (49/220). Of the neoplastic masses 18.9% (35/185) were correctly diagnosed via cytology. The overall sensitivity was 60%, and the specificity was 68.6%. Neither institution (P = 0.16), lesion size (P = 0.88), cavitation (P = 0.34), or needle gauge (P = 0.20) had an association with correct diagnosis. This study demonstrates that, although there is a low risk of complications following FNA of a hepatic mass, overall success rate for correct cytologic diagnosis based on FNA was low compared to histopathologic diagnosis.

published proceedings

  • J Am Anim Hosp Assoc

altmetric score

  • 3.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Cray, M., Hokamp, J., Abrams, B., Husbands, B. D., Grimes, J. A., Gleason, H., ... Selmic, L. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Cray, Megan||Hokamp, Jessica||Abrams, Brittany||Husbands, Brian D||Grimes, Janet A||Gleason, Hadley||McChesney, David||Casale, Sue A||Selmic, Laura Elizabeth

publication date

  • January 2023