Table 3

Reporting of pleural fluid cytology results

InadequateNo mesothelial cells or only degenerate cells present
No malignant cells seenAdequate sample without evidence of malignancy (does not exclude malignancy)
Atypical cellsMay be of inflammatory or malignant origin. Sending a further sample may be helpful
Suspicious for malignancyOccasional cells with malignant features but not definitively malignant
MalignantUnequivocal malignant cells present which require typing by immunocytochemistry