Diagnostic Pathology Volume 18:9 September 2012 pages 358-365.
Trends in the evaluation of salivary gland masses have changed as imaging studies have improved and sampling techniques have evolved over the past several decades. Whether clinically palpable or detected by imaging studies, salivary gland masses have been readily evaluated by fine needle aspiration. More recently, imaging guided core-needle biopsy has been employed with mixed results. The literature on these techniques is reviewed and analyzed with particular attention to tissue adequacy and diagnostic accuracy. Comparison is made using selected case presentations to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a diagnosis when core-needle biopsy is utilized. Core-needle biopsy of salivary gland tumours may be a useful first diagnostic approach as long as the limitations of the procedure are well understood and managed.
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