Incidence and cytological features of pulmonary hamartomas indeterminate on CT scan

A. Saqi*, D. Shaham, T. Scognamiglio, M. P. Murray, C. I. Henschke, D. Yankelevitz, M. F. Vazquez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Pulmonary hamartomas have a characteristic heterogeneous radiological appearance. However, when composed predominantly of undifferentiated mesenchymal fibromyxoid component, their homogeneous appearance on computed tomography is indeterminate for malignancy. Rendering an accurate preoperative diagnosis in these cases can alter management. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and accuracy of cytodiagnosis for hamartomas 'indeterminate' by imaging. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records for hamartomas diagnosed by transthoracic fine needle aspiration (FNA) including immediate impressions and final diagnoses. Cytological features evaluated included the presence of fibromyxoid stroma, bronchioloalveolar cell hyperplasia, fibroadipose tissue, cartilage and smooth muscle. Results: Eighteen (1.3%) hamartomas were identified from 1355 transthoracic FNAs. The immediate impression was hamartoma in 13 (72%), carcinoid in one (6%), mucinous bronchioloalveolar carcinoma in two (11%) and non-diagnostic in two (11%). The final diagnosis of hamartoma in cases diagnosed as carcinoid, mucinous bronchioloalaveolar carcinoma and non-diagnostic on immediate impression was rendered following assessment of all cytological material. Conclusion: Overall, FNAs are highly reliable for diagnosing hamartomas even when composed principally of undifferentiated mesenchymal fibromyxoid stroma, especially with the aid of all available preparations including Diff-Quik smears, Papanicolaou smears, ThinPreps and cell block material.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytodiagnosis
  • Fine needle aspiration cytology
  • Hamartoma
  • Lung
  • Pulmonary


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