We use cookies to help us improve the website and your experience using it. You may delete and block all cookies from this site at any time. However, please note this may result in parts of the site no longer working correctly. If you continue without changing your settings we will assume you are happy to receive all cookies on this site.


Making spreads from fine needle aspiration

The ideal FNA sample is prepared as follows:

  • Even monolayer spreads onto glass slides for air-dried 'direct smears'
  • Needle to be rinsed in CytoRich Red preservative fluid (if available) or sterile saline
  • Two passes are recommended for each case
  • If Tuberculosis is suspected, please also send an aspirate to microbiology in a sterile container
Step 1: Having expelled a small drop of the aspirate onto a glass slide, place a clean slide (spreader) above the drop and spread gently but swiftly. Leave to air dry. FNA spread 1
Step 2: Rinse the remaining material from the needle into the CytoRich Red preservative fluid by repeated aspiration and expelling of the said CytoRich Red preservative fluid FNA spread 2
Step 3: Label container containing CytoRich Red preservative fluid according to specimen acceptance policy and use a pencil to label slide FNA spread 3
Step 4: Complete request form, package sample and send to Cytology Department, Clinical Sciences Building 2 FNA spread 4

(Last updated April 21st 2016)