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Narrow band imaging versus autofluorescence imaging for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma detection: a prospective study

  • X-G Ni (a1), Q-Q Zhang (a1) and G-Q Wang (a1)



This study aimed to compare the diagnostic effectiveness of narrow band imaging and autofluorescence imaging for malignant laryngopharyngeal tumours.


Between May 2010 and October 2010, 50 consecutive patients with suspected laryngopharyngeal tumour underwent endoscopic laryngopharynx examination. The morphological characteristics of laryngopharyngeal lesions were analysed using high performance endoscopic systems equipped with narrow band imaging and autofluorescence imaging modes. The diagnostic effectiveness of white light image, narrow band imaging and autofluorescence imaging endoscopy for benign and malignant laryngopharyngeal lesions was evaluated.


Under narrow band imaging endoscopy, the superficial microvessels of squamous cell carcinomas appeared as dark brown spots or twisted cords. Under autofluorescence imaging endoscopy, malignant lesions appeared as bright purple. The sensitivity of malignant lesion diagnosis was not significantly different between narrow band imaging and autofluorescence imaging modes, but was better than for white light image endoscopy (χ2 = 12.676, p = 0.002). The diagnostic specificity was significantly better in narrow band imaging mode than in both autofluorescence imaging and white light imaging mode (χ2 = 8.333, p = 0.016).


Narrow band imaging endoscopy is the best option for the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal tumours.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr X-G Ni, Department of Endoscopy, Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 17 Panjiayuannanli, Chaoyang District, P.O. Box 2258, Beijing 100021, PR China. E-mail:


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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