NBI flexible laryngoscopy targeted tissue sampling in head and neck cancer patients with difficult airways

Chung Tsung Pan, Li Ang Lee, Tuan-Jen Fang*, Hsueh-Yu Li, Chun Ta Liao, I-How Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Direct suspension laryngoscopic biopsy of neoplasms in larynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx was an arduous procedure in patients with a history of head and neck cancer and difficult airways. This preliminary study was aimed to report the efficacy and safety of a narrow band imaging-guided biopsy of this category by flexible laryngoscopy. This is a retrospective chart review study conducted in setting of tertiary referral centre. Nineteen consecutive head and neck cancer patients with difficulty in general anesthesia and rigid endoscopic approach due to trismus, craniofacial deformities, and/or limited neck extension after cancer therapy were referred for endoscopic biopsy of their suspicious lesions in larynx, hypopharynx, or parts of oropharynx. Following topical anesthesia, a flexible laryngoscope was introduced through the nose into the pharynx. Under narrow band imaging magnified view, the specified tumor foci were biopsied in an office-based setting. All of the lesions were reached and biopsied to obtain sufficient tissue samples. The procedure took <20 min in every case. Twelve of the 19 pathologic examinations disclosed the malignancies at the first biopsy, and another underwent a second biopsy to prove cancer recurrence. The other six patients with benign lesions received further follow-up for at least 6 months and showed no recurrence. There were no complications associated with the technique. This study introduced that flexible laryngoscopy with narrow band imaging has the advantages of nimbleness, precision, and minimal morbidity. This combined technique may be a safe and promising method for tissue sampling of suspicious recurrence in head and neck cancer patients with difficult airways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biopsy
  • Flexible laryngoscopy
  • Hypopharynx
  • Larynx
  • Narrow band imaging
  • Oropharynx
  • Recurrent
  • Second primary


Dive into the research topics of 'NBI flexible laryngoscopy targeted tissue sampling in head and neck cancer patients with difficult airways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this