From May 1988 to June 1990, 260 patients with abdominal focal disease underwent ultrasonically guided percutaneous fine needle biopsy. The technique of so-called "FNAB-CYT" is described. The procedure entailed very few complications: the mortality rate was 0% and the morbidity rate was 1.5%. The specificity of the technique was 100%, and sensitivity was 93.43%. False-negative diagnoses were made in 8 cases, and in 5 patients the cytologic diagnoses were uncertain. There were no false-positives. The possibility of an immediate control of the collected material by the pathologist avoids the risk of inadequate samples and reduces the number of biopsies for the patient. Comparison among diagnoses on rapid and definitive preparations and histologic ones was carried out to evaluate the diagnostic efficiency of the cytologic procedure. In our experience, a rapid staining of the smears allowed a correct cytologic diagnosis in 87.7% of the cases within approximately 5 min of the biopsy. On the basis of our experience, the authors recommend FNAB-CYT as a routine first-level (less invasive) procedure for diagnosis of abdominal focal disease.