The aim of the cytological examinations is to identify various abnormalities (normal, reactive, dysplastic, neoplastic), to determine the tissue origin of the tumorous processes, the degree of malignancy, to investigate the spread of the process and to evaluate the effect of the therapy and the prognosis. During cytodiagnosis, microscopic morphological examination of cells extracted from organs or tissues is performed, using conventional and, if necessary, immunocytochemical staining. Samples are partly collected by the attending physicians and transferred to cytopathology, and partly by cytopathologists in aspiration cytology outpatient service.

The biggest advantage of this test method is that it is fast,it has a low demand in material and equipment, and does not require surgical intervention. Some tissues, such as different fluids, are more suitable for cytodiagnosis than for histological examination. The disadvantage is that sampling is often unrepresentative, because cells may be damaged during preparation. This method does not provide information about the tissue structure, but clearly determines the type of lesion prior to surgery.

Aspiration cytology

During sampling, the lesion is punctured by a cytopathologist with a thin needle, usually under ultrasound control, using a special syringe to create a vacuum to aspirate cells from the area in question. The cells then are smeared and examined under microscope by a specialist.


  • It can substitute a more complex surgical sampling.
  • It can be done in an outpatient service.
  • It is fast, takes only 15-20 minutes.
  • It is well tolerated, with minimal pain.
  • In most cases it gives a reliable result.
  • In the case of a cyst, sucking off the contents may be the final solution.


  • In 25-30% of the cases, they fail to obtain sufficient cells, in which case sampling need to be repeated.


General feeling of being unwell (excitement, fear of needles).

There is a potential for infection, but this can be safely avoided by proper disinfection.

Minor hematoma in soft tissues may occur, which usually heals within a few days.

Updated: 2020.01.10.