Introduction: There is increasing need for more testing in non-small cell lung cancer given the introduction of newer targeted therapies. Cytological specimens including conventional smears (CS), cell blocks (CB), and liquid-based cytology (LBC) are an alternative to histologic tissue (HT) specimens in detecting EGFR mutations, but the concordance of these 2 specimens is yet to be determined. The aim of the present systematic review is to determine the concordance rates between different cytologic specimens with HT in detecting EGFR mutations. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were utilized in the primary search, along with reference lists of electronically retrieved full-text articles. Concordance rates were pooled together if 2 or more studies reporting the same type of cytologic specimen were available. Results: Overall, 15 studies were included in this review, with 13 studies included in the pooled analysis. There was an overall concordance rate of 92.8% in 593 paired cytologic and HT specimens, with LBC having the highest concordance rate of 96.0%, followed by CS and CB, each with a concordance rate of 95.8%, although the concordance rate of CS and/or CB was lower at 90.6% with a larger pool of studies. LBC was found to have a significantly higher concordance rate than CS and/or CB. Conclusion: Cytological specimens have a high concordance rate in detecting EGFR mutations, when compared to HT. LBC has shown superior concordance rates compared to CS and CB. Cytological specimens should be considered as an additional and alternative source of diagnostic material for EGFR testing.

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