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Research Article

Vol. 1 No. 1 (1995)

Role of Intraoperative Frozen Section Diagnosis in the Management of Patients with CNS Lesions: Evaluation of 60 Consecutive Intraoperative Frozen Sections from 1991 to 1993

  • Seyed Mirsattari
  • Fraser W. Saunders
October 28, 2020


To determine the role of intraoperative frozen sections (FSs) in the management of patients with central nervous system (CNS) lesions, 60 consecutive intraoperative clinical diagnoses of CNS lesions were presented and compared with concomitantly obtained FS diagnoses. Clinical diagnoses were established by
history, physical examination, imaging techniques, and gross appearance of the abnormal tissue in situ. Tissue samples were obtained intraoperatively and processed for FS diagnoses. The findings of the FS diagnoses were reported to the operating room and compared with the clinical diagnoses. The remaining
biopsy samples were used to prepare paraffin-embedded tissue sections from which the definitive diagnoses were made. Comparison of the clinical and FS diagnoses, using paraffin-embedded tissue as the true diagnosis, shows that FS diagnosis has a limited contribution to intraoperative patient management by the neurosurgeon. The rate of diagnostic failures between the two techniques was very similar; clinical diagnoses and FSs were misinterpreted in 12 and 11 of the 60 cases, respectively. Compared to a clinical diagnosis, the intraoperative FS technique provided no significant improvement in diagnosis and management; it altered the intraoperative management of the patients in 2 of 60 cases.


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