What is the role of frozen sectioning and intraoperative cytology in the workup of soft-tissue tumors?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Vinod B Shidham, MD, FRCPath; Chief Editor: Omohodion (Odion) Binitie, MD  more...
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Frozen sectioning and intraoperative cytology are extremely helpful tools for the management of soft-tissue tumors. [28, 29] Proper communication with a musculoskeletal oncopathologist preoperatively and intraoperatively is essential for evaluation. Frozen sectioning can guide retrieval of adequate diagnostic material and, depending on the initial evaluation, can be an important triage mechanism for directing further pathologic workup.

If support is available, FNAB offers most of the advantages for diagnostic biopsy that frozen sectioning does. However, open biopsy—with the help of frozen-sectioning support—may be indicated when the FNAB result is equivocal or for other clinical reasons.

Fatty lesions are not suitable for frozen-section evaluation, because of a loss of diagnostic material during frozen sectioning and other technical difficulties. In addition, freezing compromises the final interpretation on permanent sections.

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