Objective: The rate of pancreatic lesions has increased in recent decades due to the widespread use of advanced imaging techniques. Nowadays, a significant proportion of cases are incidentally discovered in asymptomatic patients and cytology is an important tool for the diagnosis and multidisciplinary management of these cases. Study Design: In this study we retrospectively review the experience with pancreatic fine-needle aspiration cytology in the last 17 years at a single large tertiary hospital in Madrid, Spain. Results: Our results indicate that more than 60% of pancreatic malignant lesions are cytologically confirmed before surgery and 30% of the patients are asymptomatic. Despite this, we have noted that the total number of malignant lesions surgically resected in our hospital has basically remained unchanged over the years, because incidental diagnosis is not always synonymous with resectability and a substantial number of patients are already metastatic at the time of diagnosis. Our series also shows an increase in the number of neuroendocrine tumors, which now represent almost 20% of all cytological diagnoses at our hospital. The sensitivity in our series is 70% and the false negative rate remains 30%, despite sample quality control by experienced cytologists and standardized technical conditions. Fibrosis and necrosis are the 2 features of the primary tumor that significantly and negatively influence the accuracy of cytologic diagnosis. Conclusion: We herein report our experience with cytologic diagnosis of pancreatic lesions in a single tertiary hospital. Our results confirm that cytology is a safe, reliable, and important tool for pancreatic lesion diagnosis and management.

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