Background: The aim of the study was comparing the diagnostic role of the white light (WL) endoscopy, video laryngostroboscopy (VLS), and narrow-band imaging (NBI) in the evaluation of the benign vocal fold lesions.
Material and methods: From March 2018 to June 2019, a total of 118 cases were enrolled in this study. Ninety-eight patients were suspected with vocal fold nodules, cysts, polyps, and sulcus vocalis and 20 patients without a history of dysphonia. Each patient was examined by WL, VLS, and NBI endoscopy. Recorded images and videos were analyzed and scored by three otorhinolaryngologists who had at least 3 years of experience in phoniatrics field. The evaluation results were compared between the methods and the physicians.
Results: A total of 118 cases were grouped by their confirmed diagnosis, vocal fold nodules (n = 28), vocal fold cyst (n = 24), vocal fold polyp (n = 9), and sulcus vocalis (n = 37). When the correct diagnosis rates of the physicians were compared, the statistical significance was found between the physicians in the WL and VLS method (P= 0.014, P= 0.027). No statistically significant difference was found among physicians in NBI method (P = 0.368). The difference between the diagnostic methods was found to be statistically significant in reaching the accurate diagnosis for benign vocal fold lesions (P< 0.001). While the difference between NBI-WL and VLS-WL was statistically significant (P< 0.001 and P< 0.001). The difference between NBI-VLS was not statistically significant while evaluating the vocal fold nodules, cysts, and sulcus vocalis separately (P= 0.102, P = 0.026, P = 0.157). Otherwise, it was statistically significant (P= 0.002) while evaluating total benign lesions in the study. The difference between NBI-VLS combination and VLS, NBI-VLS combination and VLS-WL combination were statistically significant (P< 0.001 and P= 0.001).
Conclusion: This study showed that NBI assessments have similar accuracy and sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) to VLS and have a higher value than WL endoscopy in reaching the diagnosis for benign vocal fold lesions. Therefore, NBI can be accepted as a promising approach to identify benign laryngeal lesions due to its optical properties.