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Barwick Kenneth; Edoute, Yeouda M.D., Ph.D.; Malberger, Ehud D.M.D., F.I.A.C; Lachter, Jesse M.D.; Toledano, Osnat M.D.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: August 1991
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Nodules in the abdominal wall scar after resection of colorectal cancer may represent nonmalignant or malignant lesions. We report clinical and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytologic findings in five patients with nodules suspected of being malignant. All patients had had adenocarcinoma, four of the colon and one of the rectum. Postoperative abdominal wall irradiation had been administered to three patients. The median time from surgical removal of the cancer to FNA of scar nodules was 27 months. Three patients had malignant and two patients had nonmalignant FNA cytology, histologically confirmed at surgical biopsy of scar nodules. The malignant histologic cell type demonstrated by FNA cytology of the scar lesions was identical to that exhibited by histology. The survival of patients with positive cytology and histology ranged between 9 and 43 months; survival of patients with negative cytology and histology was between 53 and 138 months. We conclude that FNA cytology is a simple, sensitive, and specific procedure to evaluate patients with scar nodules appearing after resection of colorectal cancer. This procedure may safely replace surgical biopsy in the initial evaluation of scar nodules.

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