Serous Effusions PDF

Serous Effusions PDF

The serosal cavities are affected by a large number of benign and malignant processes, and serous effusions constitute one of the most commonly seen specimen types in cytopathology. Unlike other areas within cytopathology, which have practically become extinct, such as fi ne needle aspiration of the prostate, or that which are being challenged by other diagnostic approaches, such as breast and cervical cytology in the context of core biopsies and HPV testing, respectively, effusions are here to stay.

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The main reason for this is the obvious fact that cytology is the only method by which one may retrieve cells from fl uid, often in the absence of solid lesions or when obtaining a biopsy from the latter is more diffi cult and costly and entails much greater discomfort or risk for the patient. The second reason why effusions are more relevant than ever is the growing share of cancer in global morbidity and mortality, resulting from longevity and probably from increased exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Whereas many of the morphologic principles related to effusion cytology have not been changed in the last decades, the ancillary methods that aid us in this diagnostic setting are different. Not insignifi cantly, so are the clinical expectations. Medicine in the twenty-fi rst century is experiencing rapid movement toward personalized Medicine and the use of targeted therapy as supplement to the more established modalities of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

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