Sara E. Monaco, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology

Dr. Monaco
Dr. Monaco is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at UPMC. She is also the Director of the FNA Clinic at UPMC-Shadyside Hospital and the Director of the FNA Biopsy Service at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. In addition, she is the Cytopathology Fellowship Director at UPMC (fellowship web page:

Office Location:
UPMC Shadyside Hospital
5150 Centre Avenue
POB2, Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Contact Information:
Office Phone: (412) 623-3745
Fax: (412) 682-4779


  • BS - Cornell University, 1999
  • MD - Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, 2003

Research Interests

Dr. Monaco's interests include fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy diagnosis, cytology-histology correlations, and the application of ancillary studies and molecular diagnostics in cytopathology. Most of Dr. Monaco's focus has been in non-gynecological cytopathology, including thoracic and lymph node cytopathology. She recently has published data on the use of endobronchial ultrasound-guided FNA in a large academic medical center, correlating the cytological findings with follow-up surgical pathology. Dr. Monaco is also the director of the FNA biopsy service at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and has been conducting research in non-gynecological cytopathology in young patients, espcially head and neck lesions in children. She is also interested in breast/gynecologic surgical pathology and cytology.

Selected Publications

View Dr. Monaco's publications on PubMed

  • Monaco SE, Rodriguez EF, Luvison A, Dacic S. FGFR1 amplification in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung with correlation of primary and metastatic tumor status. Am Journal of Clin Pathol 2015 [in press].
  • Rodriguez EF, Dacic S, Pantanowitz L, Khalbuss WE, Monaco SE. Cytopathology of Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma with a single histological pattern using the proposed International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (IASLC/ATS/ERS) Classification. Cancer Cytopathology 2015 [in press].
  • Monaco SE, Pantanowitz L. Telecytology value and validation: developing a validation and competency tool for telecytology. Diagn Cytopathol 2015;43:1-2.
  • Buryk M, Picarsic J, Ozolek J, Monaco S, Nikiforov YE, Simons JP, Gurtunca N, Joyce J, Mehta D, Witchel S. Can malignant thyroid nodules be distinguished from benign thyroid nodules in children and adolescents by clinical characteristics? A review of 89 pediatric patients with thyroid nodules. Thyroid 2015;25:392-400.
  • Buryk M, Simons JP, Shaw P, Deutsch M, Picarsic J, Monaco S, Nikiforov YE, Witchel S. Identification of unique heterozygous germline mutation, STK11 (p.F354L) in a child with encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma within 6 months of completing treatment for neuroblastoma. Pediatric & Developmental Pathology 2015 [in press]
  • Singhi R. Monaco SE, Pantanowitz L. Cytopathology of Myeloid Sarcoma: A study of 16 cases. J Am Soc Cytopathol 2014 [in press]
  • ElGabry EA, Monaco SE, Pantanowitz L. Frequency and characterization of celiac ganglia diagnosed on fine-needle aspiration. Cytojournal 2015;12:4.
  • Dwyer JB, Pantanowitz L, Monaco SE. Pancreatic Sampling by Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration and Needle Biopsy from the Cytopathology Perspective. Pathology Case Reviews (solicited/invited review article), 2014 [in press].
  • Bures N, Monaco SE, Palekar A, Pantanowitz L. Cytomorphology of metastatic balloon cell melanoma. Diagn Cytopathol 2015;43:485-487.
  • Li Z, Pantanowitz L, Khalbuss WE, Arya P, Monaco SE. Challenges in diagnosing metastatic breast carcinoma in fluid cytology. Diagnostic Cytopathology 2014;42:1006-8.