Susan E. Harley, MD, Pathologist
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Susan E. Harley, MD

Pathologist | Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Pathology

4301 West Markham Street Little Rock AR, 72205


A Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, Dr. Susan E. Harley, MD is a pathologist currently serving her patients at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Additionally, she is an Assistant Professor in the divisions of Hematopathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. To begin her career, Dr. Harley attended Duke University School of Medicine and earned her medical degree in 2006. From there, she completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology from the University of South Alabama. Wanting to further her knowledge in the field, she went on to complete her hematopathology fellowship from the Virginia Commonwealth University and her molecular genetic pathology fellowship from the University of Minnesota. In order to remain up to date with the latest medical advancements within her field, Dr. Harley maintains a professional membership with the American Medical Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Association for Molecular Pathology, as well as the American Society of Hematology. Furthermore, she currently serves as director of the Molecular Pathology Resident Rotation and as section director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and her clinical and research interests includes understanding genetic changes of hematopoietic malignancies and the impact on disease diagnosis, prognosis, therapeutics, and minimal residual disease detection. On a more personal note, in her free time, Dr. Harley enjoys birds, singing in the church choir, and staying involved in charitable endeavors, including animal welfare and nature conservation.

Education and Training

Universtiy of Minnesota MM 2002

Duke University MD 2006

Provider Details

Susan E. Harley, MD
Susan E. Harley, MD's Expert Contributions
  • Is pathology of pleomorphic adenoma accurate?

    Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is a generally reliable, minimally invasive diagnostic method with a high sensitivity in diagnosis of lesions in parotid glands. It does provide excellent distinction between benign and malignant parotid tumors. Evidence of reliability of FNAs for parotid lesions is as follows: There was a retrospective study performed in 2016 that looked at over 100 cases of parotid tumors that had been diagnosed over the past 10 years. Over 90 of them were initially evaluated by FNA; this study compared their initial FNA diagnosis to the final diagnosis made after the tumor was surgically removed. Pleomorphic adenoma (PA) was the most common neoplasm identified (found in 63% of cases), followed by other benign neoplasms and, less commonly, malignancies. The overall accuracy of FNAC for parotid masses was estimated to be 95%. “False-negative diagnoses were found in mucoepidermoid carcinoma (n=1; 1.4%), acinic cell carcinoma (n=1; 1.4%), and epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (n=1; 1.4%) whereas there were false-positive diagnoses in cases of pleomorphic adenoma (n=2; 2.7%) and in normal parotid tissue (n=1; 1.4%).” (Gudmundsson et al.)* In this case, “negative” is a shortened version of “negative for malignancy,” meaning benign; “positive” is short for “positive for malignancy.” A false negative means that the case was (on FNA) initially diagnosed as benign, but on final pathology was malignant (so in the above paragraph, for all the cases where the final pathology was mucoepidermoid carcinoma, 1 case was initially diagnosed falsely as “negative for malignancy” or benign, but when resected turned out to be a mucoepidermoid cancer, which is a malignant tumor). A false positive means that the case was initially diagnosed as malignant (with FNA), but on final pathology was found to be benign. The tumors found to be pleomorphic adenomas did have 2 cases falsely identified as malignant on FNA which on resection were found to be benign; no cases in this study that were diagnosed by FNA as benign were found to be malignant. Based on the above study, the evidence shows that FNAs are excellent at diagnosing parotid tumors, including PAs, and that their findings of “benign” versus “malignant” are overall very reliable. Thank you for your question. Please let me know if I can assist you or answer other questions in the future. Best, Dr. Harley READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization


Professional Memberships

  • College of American Pathologists  
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology  


  • Virginia Commonwealth University (Hematopathology); University of Minnesota (Molecular Genetic Pathology)

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Medical Association, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association for Molecular Pathology, American Society of Hematology

Hobbies / Sports

  • Musician and Sings in the Church Choir

Susan E. Harley, MD's Practice location

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

4301 West Markham Street -
Little Rock, AR 72205
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New patients: 251-471-7072

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