Decision Based on Narrow Band Imaging Cystoscopy without a Referential Normal Standard Rather Increases Unnecessary Biopsy in Detection of Recurrent Bladder Urothelial Carcinoma Early after Intravesical Instillation

Cancer Res Treat. 2016 Jan;48(1):273-80. doi: 10.4143/crt.2014.190. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to calculate the operating characteristics of narrowband imaging (NBI) cystoscopy versus traditional white light cystoscopy (WLC) in common clinical scenarios involving suspicion of bladder urothelial carcinoma (UC).

Materials and methods: Sixty-three consecutive patients initially underwent WLC and then NBI in a single session for evaluation of microscopic hematuria (group I, n=20), gross hematuria (group II, n=19), and follow-up for prior UC (group III, n=24), by an experienced urologist. All lesions that were abnormal in contrast with adjacent normal mucosa were diagnosed as positive and biopsied.

Results: Sixty-six biopsies from 47 patients were performed. Pathologic examination showed 17 cases of UC from 21 sites. While the overall sensitivity of NBI was similar to that of WLC (100% vs. 94.1%), the specificity of NBI was significantly lower than that of WLC (50% vs. 86.9%, p < 0.001), particularly in group III (38.9% vs. 88.9%, p=0.004). Based on identification by NBI only, 23 additional biopsies from 18 cases were performed for identification of one patient with UC, who belonged to group III. In this group, to identify this specific patient, 15 additional biopsies were performed from 10 patients. All seven cases with positive findings from NBI within 2 months after the last intravesical therapy were histologically proven as negative.

Conclusion: In evaluation for recurrence early after intravesical instillation, the decision based on NBI increased unnecessary biopsy in the absence of an established standard for judging NBI.

Keywords: Cystoscopy; Narrow band imaging; Urinary bladder neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Aged
  • Biopsy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cystoscopy* / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narrow Band Imaging* / standards
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Reference Standards
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*