Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate, primarily, the effectiveness of the application of pattern-based analysis in the diagnosis of salivary gland (SG) lesions. Secondarily, an attempt was made to study the cytomorphology of the various lesions in detail and discuss the pitfalls and solutions involved in the challenging conditions at cytology. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional study. All SG lesions over 2 years were subjected to fine-needle aspiration cytology with patients' prior informed consent. The lesions were classified based on the predominant pattern, and a provisional diagnosis was made. The secondary pattern and other features, such as background, were then taken note of, and a combined cytological diagnosis was rendered. The entire spectrum of lesions was divided into 6 morphological categories. Results: We had a total of 72 SG lesions. The most commonly affected gland was the parotid gland in 79.16% (57/72) of the cases. Surgery was performed in 26 cases (36.11%). A concordant diagnosis was obtained in 22 cases. The sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy by the pattern-based approach was 75, 100 and 88.46%, respectively. There were no false-positive cases, but 2 false-negative cases were recorded. Conclusion: The precise cytological preoperative diagnosis of SG lesions is important for the management of patients. The pattern-based approach can be used routinely in the cytological diagnosis of SG lesions.

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