During January 1978 through May 1989, 232 fine-needle aspirations of palpable lesions of the vulva, vagina, inguinal area, and perineum were performed on 209 women. Five samples were considered inadequate for cytologic evaluation. Eighty-seven (38.3%) aspirates were interpreted as malignant, 80 of which were further classified into specific cell types. Most malignant neoplasms represented metastases from other gynecologic organs. Of the 140 (61.7%) nonmalignant aspirates, only 28 (20%) could be categorized into specific pathologic disorders. The false-positive and false-negative rates were 0 and 4.6%, respectively. We conclude that, because of its safety, simplicity, and accuracy, fine-needle aspiration cytology represents a valuable diagnostic tool in the evaluation of palpable lesions of the lower female genital tract. This technique is particularly helpful in the assessment of primary, metastatic, or recurrent malignant neoplasms of this region.