The College of American Pathologists surveys provide national benchmarks of pathology practice for laboratories.
To investigate breast fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy practice in domestic and international laboratories in 2019.
We analyzed data from the College of American Pathologists Breast FNA Practice Supplemental Questionnaire that was distributed to laboratories participating in the 2019 College of American Pathologists Non-Gynecologic Cytopathology Education Program.
Sixty-one percent (499 of 816) of respondent laboratories routinely evaluated breast FNAs. Cystic lesions were the most common indication, and radiologists primarily performed FNAs in most settings. Forty-five percent (220 of 491) of laboratories performed ancillary studies on breast FNA samples, but 33.8% (70 of 207) did not report fixation time for breast biomarker studies. Only 54.5% (271 of 497) of laboratories had a standardized reporting system and only 16.8% (82 of 488) were aware of the International Academy of Cytology Yokohama Breast FNA Biopsy Cytology Reporting System. There were significant differences among different types of institutions in several aspects of breast FNA practice, including frequency of concurrent FNA and core needle biopsy for the same lesion, primary personnel who performed the FNA, etc. Significant differences existed between domestic and international laboratories in slide preparation, ancillary studies, fixation time reporting, standardized/descriptive diagnosis, and International Academy of Cytology Yokohama Reporting System awareness.
This is the first survey from the College of American Pathologists Cytopathology Committee to investigate breast FNA practices. The data reveal significant differences in breast FNA practice among different types of institutions and between domestic and international laboratories, and provide a baseline for future breast FNA studies in a variety of practice settings.