The procedures to diagnose head and neck lesions are mostly based on pathological (cytological and histological) evaluation. Cytology is the most accurate and cost-effective method for the initial management of patients with head and neck lesions, above all when performed with the aid of ultrasonographic guidance (i.e., ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration, US-FNA). US-FNA yields a definitive diagnosis in the great majority of cases: for benign lesions, unnecessary surgery can be avoided; for malignant lesions, preliminary cytological evaluation provides strategies for an optimal surgical treatment. Thanks to the easy accessibility and relatively low cost of this medical equipment, thyroid US-FNA is probably one of the most performed procedures in the world. Histological examination of surgically removed malignant lesions remains the gold standard to assess the extent of the disease and the quality of surgery. In this chapter, we detail the most salient cytohistological features of head and neck neuroendocrine lesions.
KeywordsFine-needle aspiration Cytology Histology Thyroid Parathyroid Paraganglioma
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