Background: Thyroid disorders are common in India. Rapid and accurate intraoperative diagnosis of thyroid lesions helps in deciding the plan of management and spares the patient the additional expenses and morbidity of a second surgery.
Aim: To assess the role of imprint cytology in the diagnosis of thyroid lesions in consecutive thyroidectomy specimens. A cross-sectional study was done at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry. The study period was between November 2015 and July 2017 during which 60 consecutive thyroidectomy specimens were subjected to touch imprint cytology by the same pathologist who was blinded of the prior fine needle aspiration cytology reports, and the results of imprint cytology and fine needle aspiration cytology were compared with the final histopathological examination report. The data obtained were entered in MS Excel sheet and analyzed.
Results: A total of 60 consecutive thyroid specimens from the Departments of General Surgery and ENT were studied. Imprint cytology had a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of 61.5%, 97.9%, 88.8%, 90.1%, and 90%, respectively, which was found to be better compared to fine needle aspiration cytology.
Conclusion: Imprint cytology is a simple, cheap, and reliable intraoperative diagnostic technique for thyroid lesions. It has high specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy. The lack of uniform availability and expense remains a limiting factor for the frozen section. The diagnostic indices of imprint cytology were found to be comparable to that of frozen section in various other studies.