Cytological investigation of the pulmonary tract is one of the most useful diagnostic tests available to the clinician. A wide range of samples can be provided to the laboratory from a variety of sampling techniques. In many cases, the cytologist can provide a clear diagnosis of malignancy, infection, or other specific disease. Even if a diagnosis cannot be offered, the sample frequently aids the clinician with future management by providing reassurance that tumor is unlikely to be present (in the appropriate clinical and radiological setting). This chapter outlines the various samples that the cytopathologist may be faced with and provides a description of the microscopic features that aid diagnosis.
KeywordsIdiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Interstitial Lung Disease Carcinoid Tumor Small Cell Carcinoma Thymic Carcinoma
Useful Resources and Suggested Reading
- European Respiratory Society website – www.ersnet.org (this provides many guidelines for the investigation of thoracic disease).
- Kini S. Color atlas of pulmonary cytopathology. New York: Springer Verlag; 2002.Google Scholar
- NICE guidelines for management of lung cancer reference CG121 – www.nice.org.uk.
- The British Thoracic Society bronchoscopy guideline committee: a sub-Committee of the Standards of Care Committee of the British Thoracic Society. Thorax. 2001;56(Suppl I):i1–21.Google Scholar
- The BSCC codes of practice – exfoliative cytopathology (excluding gynaecological cytopathology) and fine needle aspiration cytology. Cytopathology. 2009;20:211–23 and 283–96.Google Scholar
- Tissue pathways for exfoliative and fine needle aspiration cytology; www.rcpath.org.
- Travis WD, Brambilla E, Muller-Hermelink HK, Harris CC, editors. Pathology and genetics of tumours of the lung, pleura, thymus and heart. Lyon: IARC Press; 2004.Google Scholar