Narrow Band Imaging Does Not Help Doctors Look at Digestive Tract Diseases

What is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a light camera attached to it, used by your doctor to see pictures of your digestive tract on a TV monitor. An endoscope can be passed through the mouth to view the upper part of the gastrointestinal system, or can be passed through the rectum to view the colon and other parts of the gastrointestinal system.

As technology advances, there have been a number of different types of endoscopes developed – mainly based on the physics and operation of the device. Examples include chromoendoscopy, white light endoscopy, and narrow band imaging. There is a need to evaluate the use of these different types of endoscopes in patients, as it could lead to better diagnosis of GI-associated issues.

What did this study look at?

The aim of this study was to investigate whether narrow band imaging can improve dysplasia detection (a complication of colon inflammation) compared with white light endoscopy. Dysplasia is a term referring to abnormal cell growth in the body. White light endoscopy utilizes white light (much like a flashlight) to look at structures in the body. The images are transmitted to a screen that your doctor can view.

  • 112 patients with ulcerative colitis were assigned to two groups – one receiving narrow band imaging and the other receiving white light endoscopy.
  • The goal was to measure the proportion of patients with at least one area of dysplasia detected.

What did this study find?

It was found that overall, there was no difference in dysplasia detection when using narrow band imaging as compared with high-definition white light endoscopy colonoscopy.

What does this mean for you as a patient?

Patients who are being evaluated with endoscopy are therefore unlikely to undergo endoscopic examination in the future utilizing narrow band imaging technology.

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