The Diagnostic Accuracy of Imprint Cytology for Neurosurgical Biopsies

  • L. Gerstner
  • G. Wöber
  • K. Jellinger
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Neurosurgery book series (NEURO, volume 4)


Cytological techniques are used in many centers and besides frozen section techniques have been found valuable for a rapid histological diagnosis of neurosurgical biopsies (6–8). The principal advantages of the cytological methods are their technical simplicity and the rapidity of their preparation, the ease with which small portions of tissue are to be screened where the preparation by cryostat may be difficult, and the clarity of the cytology on which the neuropathologist is dependent for establishing the diagnosis. However, the accuracy of the cytological methods is still under discussion. While in some series a correct diagnosis was made in 70 to 80% of the smear preparations compared with a 94 to 95% accuracy of cryostat and paraffin section (1, 3), MARSHALL et al. (6) have shown that the smear technique has a diagnostic accuracy of 93 to 94% whether the specimen came from burr-hole biopsies or from open craniotomy. In an attempt to define the accuracy of the imprint technique and its clinical usefulness, the diagnoses made by cytology and the parallel paraffin sections were compared in 311 consecutive neurosurgical biopsies performed during the last 15 months. The sources of the biopsy specimens are summarized in Table 1. The conditions encountered were representative for those seen in any neurosurgical unit, the majority being primary and secondary tumors (Table 2).


Paraffin Section Glial Scar Astrocytoma Grade Imprint Cytology Malignant Meningioma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Gerstner
  • G. Wöber
  • K. Jellinger

There are no affiliations available

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