Getting to the point: Indications for fine-needle aspiration of internal organs and bone

Jackie M. Wypij

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The technique of fine-needle biopsy (fine-needle aspiration or fine-needle fenestration) for cytologic evaluation can be extended to many sites beyond the traditional lymph node and skin. Intra-abdominal, intrathoracic, and bone lesions can be easily and rapidly evaluated cytologically. Percutaneous fine-needle aspiration and fine-needle fenestration are useful, accurate, and inexpensive techniques with a rapid turnaround time, and outpatient applicability. For most pets, these minimally invasive techniques do not require anesthesia or analgesia. Although risks are inherent with any invasive procedure, complications are uncommon even with visceral and intrathoracic fine-needle biopsy. Attention to appropriate technique and close patient monitoring minimize the morbidity and improve the diagnostic utility. The low cost, low risk, minimal invasiveness, and high diagnostic yield make fine-needle biopsy particularly attractive to clients. In combination with ultrasound guidance and newer staining techniques, these diagnostic procedures are invaluable to the veterinary clinician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Companion Animal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Cytology
  • Fenestration
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Intra-abdominal
  • Intrathoracic
  • Noncutaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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