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Sana  Tabbara

Sana Tabbara, MD

Specialty: Pathology

Program: Pathology

Language(s): English

  • Overview

    Dr. Tabbara received her MD from the American University of Beirut School of Medicine in Lebanon. She then joined the University of Virginia Health System where she completed a residency in Pathology, followed by fellowships in Cytopathology and Surgical Pathology. Dr. Tabbara was most recently a Professor of Pathology at George Washington University, and the Division Director, Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Tabbara’s clinical areas of interest are the cytologic and histologic diagnosis of disease, including the application of predictive and therapeutic biomarkers to cytologic specimens, with a focus on Breast, Head and Neck/Endocrine, and Thoracic Pathology. Her research interests are in refining diagnostic criteria and bridging the classic cyto- and histo-morphology with novel molecular diagnostics that delineate prognosis and enhance targeted therapies, and in the application of new technologies to improve patient care.

    Education & Training


    • University of Virginia - Cytopathology
    • University of Virginia - Surgical Pathology/Cytopathology


    • University of Virginia - Anatomic Pathology

    Medical School:

    • American University of Beirut, School of Medicine - MD
  • Publications

    • VandenBussche CJ, Nwosu A, Souers R, Sundling KE, Brainard J, Goyal A, Lin X, Masood S, Nguyen L, Roberson J, Tabbara SO, Booth C. The Implementation of Nongynecologic Reporting Systems in Cytopathology Laboratories Is Highly Variable: Analysis of Data From a 2020 Supplemental Survey of Participants in the College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Nongyne. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2024 May.148(5):531-537. Pubmedid: 37603681.
    • Li Z, Tabbara SO, Nwosu A, Souers RJ, Goyal A, Kurian EM, Lin X, VandenBussche C, Nguyen LN. Pancreaticobiliary Cytology Practice in 2021: Results of a College of American Pathologists Survey. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2024 Jun.148(6):677-685. Pubmedid: 37702405.
    • Goyal A, Booth CN, Souers RJ, Tabbara SO, Roberson J, Henry MR, Sundling KE, Goodrich K, Nguyen L. Navigating Practice Issues Related to the Unsatisfactory Cervicovaginal Papanicolaou Test: Survey Results of Laboratories Participating in the 2020 College of American Pathologists PAP Education Program. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2024 Jan.148(1):48-54. Pubmedid: 37074866.
    • Furlan KC, Saeed-Vafa D, Mathew TM, Saller JJ, Tabbara SO, Boyle TA, Wenig BM, Hernandez-Prera JC. Utility of UV Signature Mutations in the Diagnostic Assessment of Metastatic Head and Neck Carcinomas of Unknown Primary. Head Neck Pathol. 2024 Feb.18(1):11. Pubmedid: 38393464. Pmcid: PMC10891032.
    • Nguyen LN, Crothers BA, Souers RJ, Barkan GA, Brainard J, Nassar A, Rollins S, Tabatabai ZL, Tabbara S, Witt B, Booth CN. Cytologic-Histologic Correlation Practices for Nongynecologic Cytology Specimens: A Survey by the College of American Pathologists Cytopathology Committee. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2023 Dec. Pubmedid: 38051268.
    • Cui J, Tabbara S, Chadha J. The broad spectrum of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Treatment of a rare EGFR R776H mutation with Osimertinib: Case report. SAGE Open Med Case Rep. 2023 Aug.11. Pubmedid: 37663150. Pmcid: PMC10469228.
    • Goyal A, Davey DD, Souers RJ, Tabbara SO, Goodrich K, Booth CN. Rescreening Practices of Negative Papanicolaou Tests With Positive Human Papillomavirus Test Result. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2022 Jan.146(1):78-83. Pubmedid: 33929528.
    • Nayar R, Chhieng DC, Crothers B, Darragh TM, Davey DD, Eisenhut C, Goulart R, Huang EC, Tabbara SO. Moving forward-the 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines for Abnormal Cervical Cancer Screening Tests and Cancer Precursors and beyond: implications and suggestions for laboratories. J Am Soc Cytopathol. 2021 Jul.9(4):291-303. Pubmedid: 32565297.
    • Li Z, Souers RJ, Tabbara SO, Natale KE, Nguyen LN, Booth CN. Breast Fine-Needle Aspiration Practice in 2019: Results of a College of American Pathologists National Survey. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021 Jul.145(7):825-833. Pubmedid: 33351901.
    • Zota AR, Geller RJ, VanNoy BN, Marfori CQ, Tabbara S, Hu LY, Baccarelli AA, Moawad GN. Phthalate Exposures and MicroRNA Expression in Uterine Fibroids: The FORGE Study. Epigenet Insights. 2020 Feb.13. Pubmedid: 32128507. Pmcid: PMC7031793.
    • Davey DD, Souers RJ, Goodrich K, Mody DR, Tabbara SO, Booth CN. Bethesda 2014 Implementation and Human Papillomavirus Primary Screening: Practices of Laboratories Participating in the College of American Pathologists PAP Education Program. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 Oct.143(10):1196-1202. Pubmedid: 31021657.
    • Tan X, Fu Y, Chen L, Lee W, Lai Y, Rezaei K, Tabbara S, Latham P, Teal CB, Man YG, Siegel RS, Brem RF, Fu SW. miR-671-5p inhibits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by downregulating FOXM1 expression in breast cancer. Oncotarget. 2016 Jan.7(1):293-307. Pubmedid: 26588055. Pmcid: PMC4807999.
    • Skancke MD, Auzenne TD, Tabbara SO, Mortman KD. Thoracoscopic Resection of Multiple Müllerian Cysts. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Nov.100(5):1898-1900. Pubmedid: 26522538.
    • Scognamiglio T, Joshi R, Kuhel WI, Tabbara SO, Rezaei MK, Hoda RS. Noninvasive carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland: A difficult diagnosis on fine needle aspiration. Cytojournal. 2015 Apr.12:7. Pubmedid: 25972908. Pmcid: PMC4421923.
    • Tan X, Peng J, Fu Y, An S, Rezaei K, Tabbara S, Teal CB, Man YG, Brem RF, Fu SW. miR-638 mediated regulation of BRCA1 affects DNA repair and sensitivity to UV and cisplatin in triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2014 Sep.16(5):435. Pubmedid: 25228385. Pmcid: PMC4303116.
    • Tworek J, Nayar R, Savaloja L, Tabbara S, Thomas N, Winkler B, Howell LP. General quality practices in gynecologic cytopathology: findings from the College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytopathology Quality Consensus Conference working group 3. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Feb.137(2):190-198. Pubmedid: 23368861.
    • Howell LP, Nayar R, Savaloja L, Tabbara S, Thomas N, Winkler B, Tworek J. The role of proficiency testing in ensuring quality: findings from the College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytopathology Quality Consensus Conference working group 3. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Feb.137(2):183-189. Pubmedid: 23368860.
    • Voltaggio L, Szeto OJ, Tabbara SO. Cytologic diagnosis of hepatobiliary cystadenoma with mesenchymal stroma during intraoperative consultation: a case report. Acta Cytol. 2010 Sep.54(5 Suppl):928-932. Pubmedid: 21053571.
    • Alfaris N, Curiel R, Tabbara S, Irwig MS. Autoimmune thyroid disease and Sjögren syndrome. J Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Apr.16(3):146-147. Pubmedid: 20216331.
    • Teal CB, Tabbara S, Kelly TA. Evaluation of intraoperative scrape cytology for sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with breast cancer. Breast J. 2007 Mar.13(2):155-157. Pubmedid: 17319856.
    • Schrecengost JE, Tabbara S, Patterson J, Wick MR. Cutaneous mesenchymal hamartoma with mixed myogenous differentiation. J Cutan Pathol. 2006 Apr.33(4):327-330. Pubmedid: 16630187.
    • David M, Sarani B, Moid F, Tabbara S, Orkin BA. Paradoxical inflammatory reaction to Seprafilm: case report and review of the literature. South Med J. 2005 Oct.98(10):1039-1041. Pubmedid: 16295822.
    • Nayar R, Tabbara SO. Atypical squamous cells: update on current concepts. Clin Lab Med. 2003 Sep.23(3):605-632. Pubmedid: 14560531.
    • Chhieng DC, Tabbara SO, Marley EF, Talley LI, Frost AR. Microvessel density and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in infiltrating lobular mammary carcinoma. Breast J. 2003 May.9(3):200-207. Pubmedid: 12752628.
    • Sidawy MK, Tabbara SO, Bryan JA, Poprocky LA, Frost AR. The spectrum of cytologic features in nonproliferative breast lesions. Cancer. 2001 Apr.93(2):140-145. Pubmedid: 11309780.
    • Fernandez PM, Tabbara SO, Jacobs LK, Manning FC, Tsangaris TN, Schwartz AM, Kennedy KA, Patierno SR. Overexpression of the glucose-regulated stress gene GRP78 in malignant but not benign human breast lesions. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2000 Jan.59(1):15-26. Pubmedid: 10752676.
    • Tabbara SO, Frost AR, Stoler MH, Sneige N, Sidawy MK. Changing trends in breast fine-needle aspiration: results of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology Survey. Diagn Cytopathol. 2000 Feb.22(2):126-130. Pubmedid: 10649527.
    • Frost AR, Tabbara SO, Poprocky LA, Weiss H, Sidawy MK. Cytologic features of proliferative breast disease: a study designed to minimize sampling error. Cancer. 2000 Feb.90(1):33-40. Pubmedid: 10692214.
    • Smith AE, Sherman ME, Scott DR, Tabbara SO, Dworkin L, Olson J, Thompson J, Faser C, Snell J, Schiffman M. Review of the Bethesda System atlas does not improve reproducibility or accuracy in the classification of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance smears. Cancer. 2000 Aug.90(4):201-206. Pubmedid: 10966559.
    • Soofer SB, Tabbara S. Intraductal papilloma of the salivary gland. A report of two cases with diagnosis by fine needle aspiration biopsy. Acta Cytol. 1999 Nov.43(6):1142-1146. Pubmedid: 10578993.
    • Alkan S, Eltoum IA, Tabbara S, Day E, Karcher DS. Usefulness of molecular detection of human herpesvirus-8 in the diagnosis of Kaposi sarcoma by fine-needle aspiration. Am J Clin Pathol. 1999 Jan.111(1):91-96. Pubmedid: 9894458.
    • Lee JA, Bank WO, Gonzalez-Melendez M, Olan WJ, Tabbara SO. Giant cell tumor of the skull. Radiographics. 1998 Sep.18(5):1295-1302. Pubmedid: 9747621.
    • Heller KN, Manyak MJ, Tabbara SO, Kerr LA. Malignant osteoclast-like giant cell tumor of the kidney. Urology. 1998 Mar.51(3):495-498. Pubmedid: 9510362.
    • Eltoum IA, Tabbara S. Intraoperative cytologic diagnosis of granulomas: a retrospective study of 156 cases. Diagn Cytopathol. 1998 Jan.18(1):62-66. Pubmedid: 9451560.
    • Frost AR, Sidawy MK, Ferfelli M, Tabbara SO, Bronner NA, Brosky KR, Sherman ME. Utility of thin-layer preparations in thyroid fine-needle aspiration: diagnostic accuracy, cytomorphology, and optimal sample preparation. Cancer. 1998 Feb.84(1):17-25. Pubmedid: 9500648.
    • Tabbara SO, Sidawy MK, Frost AR, Brosky KR, Coles V, Hecht S, Radcliffe G, Sherman ME. The stability of estrogen and progesterone receptor expression on breast carcinoma cells stored as PreservCyt suspensions and as ThinPrep slides. Cancer. 1998 Dec.84(6):355-360. Pubmedid: 9915137.
    • Singh Y, Winick AB, Tabbara SO. Multiloculated cystic liver lesions: radiologic-pathologic differential diagnosis. Radiographics. 1997 Jan.17(1):219-224. Pubmedid: 9017811.
    • Lerud KS, Tabbara SO, DelVecchio DM, Frost AR. Cytomorphology of cystic parathyroid lesions: report of four cases evaluated preoperatively by fine-needle aspiration. Diagn Cytopathol. 1996 Nov.15(4):306-311. Pubmedid: 8982586.
    • Tabbara SO, Acoury N, Sidawy MK. Multinucleated giant cells in thyroid neoplasms. A cytologic, histologic and immunohistochemical study. Acta Cytol. 1996 Nov.40(6):1184-1188. Pubmedid: 8960026.
    • Tabbara SO, Sidawy MK. Evaluation of the 5-year review of negative cervical smears in patients with high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. Diagn Cytopathol. 1996 Jul.15(1):7-10. Pubmedid: 8807245.
    • Tabbara SO, Sidawy MK. Evaluation of the 10% rescreen of negative gynecologic smears as a quality assurance measure. Diagn Cytopathol. 1996 Feb.14(1):84-86. Pubmedid: 8834084.
    • Mesonero CE, Tabbara S. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of ductal adenoma: report of a case associated with a mucocele-like lesion. Diagn Cytopathol. 1995 Oct.13(3):252-256. Pubmedid: 8575285.
    • Frost AR, Tenner S, Tenner M, Rollhauser C, Tabbara SO. ACTH-producing pituitary carcinoma presenting as the cauda equina syndrome. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1995 Jan.119(1):93-96. Pubmedid: 7802565.
    • Butrus SI, Ashraf MF, Laby DM, Rabinowitz AI, Tabbara SO, Hidayat AA. Increased numbers of mast cells in pterygia. Am J Ophthalmol. 1995 Feb.119(2):236-237. Pubmedid: 7832235.
    • Tabbara SO, Horbach N, Sidawy MK. The adequacy of the one-slide cervical smear in the detection of squamous intraepithelial lesions. Am J Clin Pathol. 1994 May.101(5):647-650. Pubmedid: 8178772.
    • Tabbara S, Saleh AD, Andersen WA, Barber SR, Taylor PT, Crum CP. The Bethesda classification for squamous intraepithelial lesions: histologic, cytologic, and viral correlates. Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Mar.79(3):338-346. Pubmedid: 1738511.
    • Sidawy MK, Tabbara SO, Silverberg SG. Should we report cervical smears lacking endocervical component as unsatisfactory?. Diagn Cytopathol. 1992.8(6):567-570. Pubmedid: 1468332.
    • Tabbara SO, Frierson HF, Fechner RE. Diagnostic problems in tissues previously sampled by fine-needle aspiration. Am J Clin Pathol. 1991 Jul.96(1):76-80. Pubmedid: 1648878.
    • Williams ME, Frierson HF, Tabbarah S, Ennis PS. Fine-needle aspiration of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Southern blot analysis for antigen receptor, bcl-2, and c-myc gene rearrangements. Am J Clin Pathol. 1990 Jun.93(6):754-759. Pubmedid: 2189291.
    • Andersen W, Frierson H, Barber S, Tabbarah S, Taylor P, Underwood P. Sensitivity and specificity of endocervical curettage and the endocervical brush for the evaluation of the endocervical canal. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988 Sep.159(3):702-707. Pubmedid: 3048105.
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