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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 196302, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/196302
Review Article

Contact Endoscopy as a Novel Technique in the Detection and Diagnosis of Mucosal Lesions in the Head and Neck: A Brief Review

1Division of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Victoria Hospital, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5W9
2Department of Pathology, University Hospital, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C1
3Division of Head and Neck Oncology, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Fremantle Hospital & Health Service, WA 6959, Australia

Received 25 September 2010; Accepted 2 November 2010

Academic Editor: Pankaj Chaturvedi

Copyright © 2011 Christopher Szeto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. There are a variety of described noninvasive optical detection techniques for evaluation of head and neck mucosal lesions. Contact endoscopy is a promising method of in vivo microscopic examination whereby a rigid telescope is placed on a previously dye-stained mucosa allowing evaluation of the superficial cell layers of the epithelium. This technique produces real-time, magnified images of cellular architecture of surface mucosa comparable to histology without the need for biopsy. In this review, we will briefly summarize the efficacy of CE in the detection of precancerous and cancerous mucosal lesions and its potential as a novel technique in early diagnosis, monitoring, and preoperative assessment of mucosal lesions of the head and neck. Methods. PUBMED, MEDLINE, and COCHRANE search revealed five prospective articles on contact endoscopy for the diagnosis of mucosal lesions in the head and neck. Results. The literature search yielded five prospective studies examining contact endoscopy for the diagnosis of benign versus malignant head and neck mucosal lesions. These reported a sensitivity and specificity of 77–100%, specificity of 66–100% and an accuracy of 72–92%. Conclusion. Contact endoscopy is a promising optical technology that may be a useful adjunct in the evaluation and diagnosis of benign and malignant head and neck mucosal lesions. Future prospective randomized double-blind studies of this detection method are required.