Objective: Application of on-spot staining with brilliant cresyl blue, a supravital stain, was investigated in fine needle aspirates from breast, lymph node and thyroid. Study Design: Patients with palpable breast lumps, lymph nodes and thyroid nodules were included in the study. Brilliant cresyl blue was used to stain the smears, which were evaluated for smear adequacy as well as cytological diagnosis. Smears were decolorized and subjected to Pap and/or HE staining for comparison. Results: Smears which were deemed hemorrhagic on the first attempt with brilliant cresyl blue correlated with Pap staining; then sites were reaspirated within minutes to obtain satisfactory cellular smears. Morphologically, cells which were designated malignant on supravital staining were mostly malignant on Pap/HE staining. Conclusion: On-spot brilliant cresyl blue staining increases the diagnostic potential on preliminary examination by decreasing the staining time and is as good as conventional stains in exhibiting cellular morphology.

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