Ordering Recommendation

Establish diagnosis for mass lesions accessible by fine needle aspiration.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is not New York state approved. ARUP cannot facilitate testing for New York state clients. Please work directly with a New York state-approved laboratory.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Fine Needle Aspirate. For specific instructions refer to Cytopathology Specimen Collection & Handling.

Specimen Preparation

Fluid: Transport all available specimen to an ARUP Standard Transport Tube in equal parts cytology fixative. Also acceptable: Unfixed fluid if submitted refrigerated within 24 hours.
Slides: Transport specimen on fixed or unfixed slides.

Storage/Transport Temperature

Fresh Unfixed Fluid: Refrigerated.
Fixed Fluid: Ambient or Refrigerated.
Fixed or
 Unfixed Slides: Ambient or Refrigerated.

Unacceptable Conditions

Frozen specimen vials or slides, Samples submitted in expired collection containers.


Submit source information with the specimen.


Fresh Unfixed Fluid: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 72 hours; Frozen: Unacceptable
Fixed Fluid: Ambient: 1 week; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: Unacceptable
Fixed or Unfixed Slides: Ambient: 1 week; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: Unacceptable






1-5 days

Reference Interval

Interpretive Data

Compliance Category

Varies by Report


Hotline History


CPT Codes

88173. This CPT code may also be reported in conjunction with aspiration of the specimen and/or evaluation of fine needle aspirate, immediate cytohistologic study to determine adequacy for diagnosis (88172, 88177). Additional CPT codes may be reported depending on the preparation methods, including 88305 or 88342.


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
2000485 Clinical History 22636-5
2000486 Gross Description/Preparations Made 22634-0
2000628 Fine Needle Aspirate Specimen Source 31208-2
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Breast FNA
  • Cytology
  • Cytology FNA
  • Fine Needle
  • Fine Needle Aspiration
  • Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
  • Fine Needle Aspiration for Cytologic Evaluation
  • FNAB
  • Kidney FNA
  • Liver FNA
  • Lymph Nodes FNA
  • Salivary Glands FNA
  • Thyroid FNA
Cytology, Fine Needle Aspirate