Background: Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is commonly used as a diagnostic tool for the evaluation of lymphoproliferative diseases. Cytomorphology alone is often insufficient for the diagnosis and subclassification of lymphoma; therefore, flow cytometry (FC) plays an important role in the characterization of lymphoproliferative disorders. This study reviews our experience with FC on liver FNA at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Methods: 2,424 liver FNAs performed over a 21-year period were reviewed for clinical FC data (n = 74) or a subsequent diagnosis of lymphoma in the liver without FC data (n = 40). Results: In our study, 114 cases (4.7%) were included out of the 2,424 liver FNAs performed during the study period. Lymphoma was diagnosed 79 times. Cytomorphology alone was diagnostic of lymphoma in 45 cases, and in 33 cases both the cytomorphology and the FC were consistent with a diagnosis of lymphoma. Neither FC nor cytomorphology were diagnostic of lymphoma on 1 specimen. In 39 cases, FC had negative results on a lesion suspicious for lymphoma based on cytomorphology. In several nonlymphoma cases, FC provided information that allowed further subclassification of the neoplasm. Conclusion: FC is a useful adjuvant diagnostic test for liver FNAs performed on patients with lymphoproliferative disorders.

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