A New Wave of Diagnostic Possibilities

See the Clinically Proven Advantages of NBI in Laryngeal Cancer Detection

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When White Light Is Not Enough

NBI allows ENT specialists to diagnose and treat early laryngeal cancer even more precisely and reliably. NBI is also a very accurate technology for follow-up procedures.


It is clinically proven 1 that by using NBI, doctors are able to detect more suspicious lesions compared to traditional white light (WL), consequently leading to potentially reduced recurrence 4. In addition, NBI is easy to handle due to filter activation at the push of a button. And it’s cost-effective, too: All Olympus Medical imaging systems and videoscopes come with NBI as standard with no additional installations or drugs needed.

How Does Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) Work?

Olympus Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) is an optical technology available for a variety of medical disciplines which helps to visualise the minutest vascular and mucosal patterns. NBI uses only wavelengths absorbed by haemoglobin for maximum contrast.

A number of studies highlight the clinical value of NBI, especially with regard to the detection of cancer and characterisation of suspicious mucosal areas.

Compared to white-light endoscopy, the images of capillaries are less blurred and the probability of missing a lesion is reduced.

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NBI Optimises Clinical Outcomes in ENT

NBI Is Clinically Proven to Diagnose More Laryngeal Cancer
Particularly when combined with a high resolution (e.g. HDTV), NBI can provide a more-detailed and higher-contrasted visualisation of blood vessels than other endoscopic procedures.1


An example from daily clinical practice illustrates this: before a patient’s vocal sound or vocal capabilities deteriorate, NBI can be routinely used to determine early changes in the vocal folds’ vessels, which can also be quantitively and qualitatively classified.


Numerous studies, including a growing number of randomised controlled trials (RCT) and metaanalyses, highlight the clinical value of NBI, especially with regard to the detection of cancer and through examination of suspicious mucosal areas. With high image quality and contrast in full HD or ultra high definition (4K), NBI can better display the edge of surgical margin and thus may reduce the number of biopsies.

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The Experts View

"NBI is a keystone in our daily practice: It is a reliable tool in the study of upper aerodigestive tract malignancies." (September 2018)

Prof. Giorgio Peretti
Professor of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Genova’s Medical and Postgraduate Schools,
Director of Otorhinolaryngology, Genova’s San Martino University Hospital

"NBI improves my diagnostic workup and optimizes endoscopy." (September 2018)

Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Arens
Director, University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Otolaryngology

"In the contemporary management of head and neck cancer, NBI definitively represents the highest step so far reached in the continuous search for the holy grail of optical biopsies." (September 2018)

Cesare Piazza, MD
Associate Professor, University of Milan,
Chief of the Department of Otorhino laryngology, National Cancer Institute of Milan

Olympus ENT Products with NBI for the Operating Room or Office

Watch procedure videos comparing Narrow Band Imaging to white-light-endoscopy.

4K Microlaryngoscopy with White Light and NBI – Part 1

4K Microlaryngoscopy with White Light and NBI – Part 2

4K Microlaryngoscopy with White Light and NBI – Part 3

Discover the benefits of Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) with an Olympus product range tailored to the specific needs in the office.

How NBI Reduces Overall Costs

In the following calculation, the Olympus video endoscopy system with Narrow Band Imaging ("NBI") will be compared to a conventional white-light endoscopy system without NBI (“White Light”).
Total Costs per Year | Example: 50 patients*

NBI offers superior efficacy in the early diagnosis of laryngeal cancer in pre-, intra- and postoperative stages compared to WL endoscopy. As tumours can be detected at an early stage using NBI, potential complications and the time a patient needs to spend in hospital for treatment, follow-up and treatment due to tumour recurrence is potentially less. 4 NBI comes with Olympus medical equipment at no additional cost for extra equipment, disposables or drugs.

Disclaimer: costs and savings figures used in the model are for illustrative purposes only and the user’s attention is drawn to the fact that outputs from the model are subject to a) the assumptions described within the model and b) the data that the user selects or decides to input into the model.

* Plaat et al.: Narrow-band imaging in transoral laser surgery for early glottic cancer in relation to clinical outcome. Head Neck. 2017 Jul; 39(7): 1343-1348. doi: 10.1002/hed.24773. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

NBI for ENT in a Nutshell

  • Exclusive optical technology built in all the recent Olympus imaging systems.
  • NBI is currently the only technology, that works with Full-HD and Ultra-High Definition systems (see Olympus 4K system).
  • NBI can be used in the office with flexible scopes as well as in the operating room with rigid scopes.

NBI provides better definition of tumour diagnosing and staging and surgical margins in pre- and intraoperative settings. NBI is also valuable in postoperative settings due to its capacity for early detection of persistence and recurrence of early laryngeal cancer as well as metachronous tumours.


NBI can be used in doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics and ORs. By combining NBI technology with flexible scopes as well as with rigid scopes, doctors can benefit from this technology during the complete patient pathway, from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up. Also, using the same technology in all procedures makes it easier to compare relevant clinical data.

NBI – The Simple Solution

Using NBI requires no time-consuming preparation or installation prior to performing procedures in the upper aero digestive tract.
NBI is available for the latest Olympus Imaging Systems, and it can easily be switched on by a push of a button.

Key Outcomes of Using NBI

NBI allows the more precise and reliable diagnosis and treatment of early laryngeal cancer. It is clinically proven that by using NBI, doctors are able to detect more suspicious lesions compared with traditional WL endoscopy. NBI is also easy to handle and cost-effective: all Olympus medical imaging systems and videoscopes come with NBI as standard with no additional installations or drugs needed. This makes using NBI a safe and reliable way to improve clinical outcomes in patients with suspected cancer in the upper aerodigestive tract. 1,2,3,4,5

Clinical Evidence

  1. 1.Detects 18% more true-positive laryngeal cancer lesions Simo et al. European Laryngological Society: ELS recommendations for the follow-up of patients treated for laryngeal cancer. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Sep;271(9):2469–79.
  2. 2.Increases sensitivity by 23% in the identification of laryngeal cancer while maintaining high specificity (96%) Kraft et al. Value of narrow band imaging in the early diagnosis of laryngeal cancer. 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: 15–20, 2016.
  3. 3.Reduces 85% of superficial positive margins Garofolo et al. Intraoperative Narrow Band Imaging Better Delineates Superficial Resection Margins During Transoral Laser Microsurgery for Early Glottic Cancer, Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2015 Apr;124(4):294–8.
  4. 4.NBI comes with Olympus Medical equipment at no additional costs for extra equipment, disposables or drugs. It is a key function of Olympus endoscopy system, and has shown to provide clinical quality, efficiency gain and cost saving in other indications. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Virtual chromoendoscopy to assess colorectal polyps during colonoscopy Diagnostics guidance [DG28], May 2017;
  5. 5.NBI comes with Olympus Medical equipment at no additional costs for extra equipment, disposables or drugs. It is a key function of Olympus endoscopy system, and has shown to provide clinical quality, efficiency gain and cost saving in other indications. Kang W et al. Narrow band imaging-assisted transurethral resection reduces the recurrence risk of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 4;8(14):23880-23890

Cost-Effectiveness

NBI offers superior efficacy compared to white-light endoscopy in the early diagnosis of laryngeal cancer in pre-, intra-and post-operative stages. As tumours can be detected at an early stage using NBI technology, complications and the time a patient spends at a hospital can be reduced. Early diagnosis and treatment is thought to result in a reduction in future treatments and recurrence of the disease.

NBI comes with Olympus medical equipment at no additional cost for extra equipment, disposables or drugs. It is a key function of the Olympus endoscopy system, and has been shown to provide clinical quality, efficiency gain and cost savings in other indications. [4,5]

High Versatility and Easy Handling

NBI is suitable for numerous endoscopy procedures in ENT such as laryngoscopy, larynx, oral cavity and sinus surgery as well as in otology. NBI is part of all Olympus imaging systems, such as VISERA ELITE II. It can be used with flexible and rigid scopes and is available at the push of a button, allowing for convenient usage with no extra manual configuration before the procedure.

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