Narrow band imaging (NBI) during medical thoracoscopy: first impressions

J Occup Med Toxicol. 2009 Aug 26;4:24. doi: 10.1186/1745-6673-4-24.


Background: This is the first ever evaluation of narrow band imaging (NBI), an innovative endoscopic imaging procedure, for the visualisation of pleural processes.

Methods: The pleural cavity was examined in 26 patients with pleural effusions using both white light and narrow band imaging during thoracoscopy under local anaesthesia.

Results: In the great majority of the patients narrow band imaging depicted the blood vessels more clearly than white light, but failed to reveal any differences in number, shape or size. Only in a single case with pleura thickened by chronic inflammation and metastatic spread of lung cancer did narrow band imaging show vessels that were not detectable under white light.

Conclusion: It is not yet possible to assess to what extent the evidence provided by NBI is superior to that achieved with white light. Further studies are required, particularly in the early stages of pleural processes.