Objective: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy is the standard diagnostic tool recommended by consensus management guidelines for preoperative evaluation of salivary gland tumors in adults. However, its utility in the pediatric population remains debated due to a paucity of data and inherited challenges of pediatric management (patient cooperation, the need for sedation, and procedural complications). Methods: Consecutive series of 92 FNA biopsies of pediatric salivary gland lesions with available procedural data were included for retrospective analysis. Patient demographics, procedural characteristics, and complications were assessed. Results: Sixty-three patients (68%) tolerated FNA without sedation. Sedation need was significantly associated with younger age, concurrent non-FNA procedure requiring sedation, ultrasound guidance, interventional radiologist as the proceduralist, and radiology suite as the facility setting. The sedation rates for children, and early, middle, and late adolescents were 69%, 32%, 12%, and 10%, respectively, with an optimal cutoff point of ≤12 years for age derived from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. No significant procedural complications were observed. Sedation did not provide significantly better diagnostic yield. Conclusion: FNA biopsy of salivary gland tumors is safe, well tolerated by the pediatric population, and can be effectively performed in an outpatient setting without sedation in most cases. FNA biopsy is a useful tool in the preoperative management of pediatric patients with salivary gland tumors.

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