Also termed as Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC), it is a simple, quick and inexpensive method used to diagnose superficial surface masses, and is especially useful in sampling the accessible head and neck masses in outpatient department (Pilotti et al 1993). Masses located within the region of the head and neck, including salivary gland and thyroid gland, cervical masses and nodules, and intraoral lesions can be readily diagnosed using this technique. It is the procedure of choice in outpatient departments, especially for the lesion of head and neck. Some of such studies have been considered here to comprehend the differences and efficacies of each of the two techniques
FNAC proves to be better than conventional smear in a number of ways. It is relatively safe since it is pretty much noninvasive when it comes to diagnosing malignancies, to which the only alternative before the advent of FNA was open excision biopsy. The most commonly encountered lesions in this area are lumps or swellings. The differential is important to rule out the malignancy, which is the most suspected diagnosis (Lee et al 1987, Skoog et al 2009). The technique is relatively easy to perform, fairly accurate and well tolerated by the patients. It is associated with low morbidity as it causes minimal suffering and carries next to no risk of complications. Its accuracy turns out to be the major reason for its preference over the conventional Pap smear.
Numerous studies have been conducted in the area to analyze the advantages and pitfalls of both the techniques. The critical review below will outline various studies and help establish a view point about the two and reveal the superiority of FNAC.
1. Parfitt et al (2007) conducted a research to analyze the accuracy given by the two techniques. CS offers more accurate diagnosis more often. Accuracy offered by CS was 57% as compared to just 42% with that of thinprep. Thinprep has a higher