FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) is a technique in which cells are obtained from a lesion using a thin (22-25 gauge) needle.

FNAC is a rapid & cost-effective methodology.

It helps to diagnose and differentiate between a cancerous and noncancerous nodule.

FNAC is most often the diagnostic of palpable mass lesions. 

The technique was introduced in the 1930s by Martin and Ellis in the USA.

Since the 1950s, it has been used extensively in Scandinavia and Holland.

Fine needle for aspiration was first introduced in the 1950s by Lopez-Cardozo in Sweden.

These are four types

1)FNAC (direct aspiration)

2) Ultrasound-Guided FNAC 

3)Endoscopy-Guided Ultrasound FNAC 

4) Computed Tomography (CT)-Guided FNAC

FNAC (Direct Aspiration)

It’s a common technique. In which the FNAC samples were taken in hospital wards by a nurse and in a pathology lab by a pathologist.


  • Examination couch with following facilities-

Pillows, disposable bed sheet, blanket

 and a screen for privacy.

  • Solutions and Equipment’s: –

Alcohol swab, 95% alcohol & methanol, staining solution, pistol handle, needle (22g or 23g).

  • Other requirements are…

Gloves, Mask, Bandage and micropore, Cotton, Lead pencil & pen, Consent form & Test request form etc.


1)Initially matches all details of patients.

2)After that take a mask and wear gloves.

3)Now, identify palpable nodules and feel with tips of two middle fingers of the right hand. 


•The needle is inserted into the nodule or lesion.

•The plunger pulled back.

•The needle is moved, in a straight line under the nodule or lesion.

•The plunger is released.

•After withdrawing, remove the needle.

5)Place the collected material on the slide & make a smear.

6)Smears are immediately fixed in 95% alcohol & methanol.

7)Stained with PAP & Giemsa staining.

8)Microscopy on 10X and 40X.


It is A cost-effective procedure, Economical,

Easy to perform, least invasive, No Anesthesia & Hospitalization is required, Extremely satisfactory results. 

An exact cytological diagnosis is available before definitive surgery is planned.


The complication is rare-

Minor bleeding, Hematoma, Infection. Read More