Grant Application

Sara E. Monaco, MD, and Liron Pantanowitz, MD, of the Department of Pathology of UPMC Shadyside


Proposed Innovation

UPMC’s fine needle aspiration (FNA) service provides care for outpatients at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center’s FNA Clinic and inpatients at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. It serves critically ill patients needing a biopsy at the bedside, inpatients needing a biopsy prior to discharge, and out-of-town patients in need of a biopsy on the same day they see their clinician.

Through this project, a portable ultrasound machine will be purchased and used to improve FNAs, and thereby provide state-of-the-art care and improved patient safety in the FNA clinic and at the bedside.


Improvements in Action

In addition to purchasing the machine, cytopathologists from UPMC’s Department of Pathology will undergo training and certification in ultrasound-guided FNA through a College of American Pathologists (CAP) course. Vendors also will be invited to Pittsburgh to conduct demonstration sessions on the machine for UPMC pathologists and cytotechnologists.


Results — In Progress

The ultrasound-guided FNA offers the ability to provide a patient with a diagnosis while minimizing complications and maximizing diagnostic yield. The use of real-time ultrasound guidance is critical to help a pathologist guide the needle more accurately, especially in challenging cases.

Use of the ultrasound-guided FNA will begin at UPMC in early 2015 with an evaluation of procedures conducted at the end of 2015.