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BACKGROUND: Narrow band imaging is a new endoscopic technology that highlights mucosal surface structures and microcapillaries, which may be indicative of neoplastic change. AIM: To assess the diagnostic precision of narrow band imaging for the diagnosis of epithelial neoplasia compared to conventional histology both overall and in specific organs. METHODS: We performed a meta-analysis of studies which compared narow band imaging-based diagnosis of neoplasia with histopathology as the gold standard. Search terms: 'endoscopy' and 'narrow band imaging'. RESULTS: Five hundred and eighty-two patients and 1108 lesions in 11 studies were included. Overall, sensitivity was 0.94 (95% confidence interval 0.92-0.95), specificity 0.83 (0.80-0.86); weighted area under the curve was 0.96 (standard error 0.02), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) 72.74 (34.11-155.15). DORs were 66.65 (25.84-171.90), 61.19 (7.09-527.97), 69.74 (8.04-605.24) for colon, oesophagus and lung respectively. Studies with more than 50 patients had higher diagnostic precision, relative DOR 4.96 (1.28-19.27), P = 0.022. There was no difference in accuracy between microvessel and mucosal (pit) pattern based measures, relative DOR 1.29 (0.05-35.16), P = 0.87. There was significant heterogeneity overall between studies, Q = 31.2, P = 0.003. CONCLUSION: Narrow band imaging is accurate with high diagnostic precision for in vivo diagnosis of neoplasia across a range of organs, using simple microvessel-based measures.

Original publication




Journal article


Aliment Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date





854 - 867


Area Under Curve, Colon, Duodenum, Endoscopy, Esophagus, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Lung, Neoplasms, Precancerous Conditions, Sensitivity and Specificity