Palpation guided fine needle aspiration
Equipment and supplies for FNA

Topic Completed: 1 August 2013

Revised: 8 February 2018, last major update August 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Equipment and supplies for FNA [title]

Joseph D. Jakowski, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,022
Page views in 2020 to date: 407
Cite this page: Jakowski J. D. Equipment and supplies for FNA. website. Accessed May 27th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Aspiration syringe holder (e.g. Cameco)
  • Needles of 27, 25, 23, 22 gauge from 0.75, 1.0, 1.5 inches with standard beveled needle tip edge
  • Disposable plastic syringes (10 or 20 mL)
  • Skin disinfectant: 70% alcohol pads
  • Pen and pencils
  • Plastic flexible ruler (for measuring lesions such as breast mass distance from the nipple)
  • Sterile 4 x 4 sponges (e.g. to hold post biopsy pressure at needle puncture site)
  • Gloves and safety glasses
  • IV extension tubing
  • Local anesthesia (e.g. 1% lidocaine without epinephrine), if needed
  • Drapes, sheets, gowns, pillows (to cover patient or biopsy site, to help position and comfort patient)
  • Ice bag (to send home with patient if needed)
  • Band aids
  • Post aspiration biopsy handout informational sheet
  • Sharps container

Specifications of needles (approximate) (Sigma-Aldrich):
Needle Gauge Outer Diameter (mm) Inner Diameter (mm)
22 0.72 0.41
23 0.64 0.34
25 0.51 0.26
27 0.41 0.21
Anatomy of an aspiration needle and syringe
Hollow bore needle parts:
  • Hub or needle adaptor: portion of needle that may be attached to the adaptor or tip of the syringe
  • Shaft: hollow tubular portion of the needle between the hub and the needle tip
  • Tip: opposite the hub that usually is beveled to a point and contains a lumen that is continuous with the hollow shaft and hub

Syringe parts:
  • Plunger: movable portion of the syringe that has a rubber seal at the end and fits into the barrel to create positive or negative pressure by the operator
  • Barrel: hollow portion of the syringe into which the plunger fits
  • Adaptor or syringe tip: end of the barrel to which the needle hub is attached; may be centrally or eccentrically placed with respect to the center of the barrel
    • Leur lock adaptor: threaded syringe tip where the needle hub is twisted and locked in place
    • Slip tip adaptor: non threaded and smooth tapered syringe tip that the needle hub is pushed onto
  • Scale: unit of volume measurement printed on the barrel
Supplies for FNA smear making, rapid interpretation and triage of FNA sample
  • Microscope
  • Frosted end glass microscope slides
  • Romanowsky type stains (e.g. Diff-Quik)
  • RPMI tissue culture media (for flow cytometry and other studies)
  • Alcohol spray fixative or 95% ethanol solution for fixing slides for Papanicolaou staining
  • Formalin (for cell block of FNA rinse)
  • Tube rack (to secure and hold FNA needle rinse tubes)
  • Various size collection tubes to place fluids / FNA material or for special studies (e.g. thyroglobulin washout study)
  • Sterile cup (to place aspirate material for culture)
  • Sterile saline syringe (to add a few drops to the FNA material in the sterile cup to prevent drying during transport)
  • Slide holder
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