Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-72

A survey of practice patterns of fine needle aspiration among junior doctors in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 University of Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S A Malami
Department of Histopathology, AKTH PMB 3452, Kano 700001, Kano State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology is a rapid and inexpensive screening test for cancer and its precursors but the technique is underutilized in Nigeria because clinicians are ignorant of its many advantages. A cross sectional descriptive study was undertaken using a pre-tested close and open-ended interview questionnaire administered on 44 junior doctors in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) a prominent training institution in Nigeria to highlight their general knowledge, perceptions and utilization of the technique. The response rate in this survey was 55 %. Awareness of the FNA among the respondents was high and knowledge of its principal indications, cost effectiveness and limitations was quite good. But there are important gaps in the other aspects of their knowledge of the technique which might explain why so many (50 per cent) had the wrong attitude to its adoption as a first line investigative procedure, particularly with respect to obvious misconceptions about its accuracy and safety. Significantly, many of the junior doctors were unaware of the places of imaging (50 %) and molecular studies (25 %) in routine FNA practice. In our opinion this study has highlighted the need for more physicians' training in FNA in Nigeria. Being a technique that is easily adapted to conditions in the developing countries, it is hoped that this simple test would be used more often in future for pre-operative diagnoses in this and other developing nations.

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