Objective: Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is recommended by the World Health Organization as a diagnostic method for breast lesions. The morphological interpretation of liquid-based preparations (LBPs) remains a diagnostic challenge due to considerably altered cytomorphology. The aim of the current study was to compare cytomorphological characteristics of SurePath® (SP)-based LBP and conventional smear (CS) in breast FNACs. Study Design: The study included 77 benign and 60 malignant breast FNACs obtained by both SP and CS, all with tissue confirmation. Cases analyzed with both preparations were reviewed and compared, focusing on 10 cytomorphological features. Results: SP aspirates demonstrated notable cytomorphological alterations. Among them, a prominent three-dimensional configuration of cell clusters and frequent and conspicuous nucleoli were the most prominent characteristics of SP compared with CS. Overall diagnostic performances were comparable but were slightly lower for SP than CS (diagnostic accuracy of two reviewers; 87.6 and 90.5% for SP vs. 91.2 and 92.7% for CS, respectively). Conclusion: Although the reviewer should be aware of distinctive cytomorphological alterations, the SP technique is reliable for the evaluation of breast lesions with the advantage of easy interpretation and a diagnostic accuracy equivalent to CS.

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