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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 visualize the minutest vascular and mucosal patterns. NBI uses only wave lengths absorbed by hemoglobin for maximum contrast.

A number of studies highlight the clinical value of NBI, especially with regard to the detection of cancer and characterization 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.

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
● NBI can be used in the office with flexible scopes as well as in the operating room with rigid scopes.

NBI Optimizes Clinical Outcomes in ENT

Clinical Value

Numerous studies, including a growing number of RCTs and meta-analyzses, highlight the clinical value of NBI, especially with regard to the detection of cancer and thorough examination of suspicious mucosal areas. By providing high image quality and contrast in Full- HD or Ultra High Definition, NBI may reduce the surgical margin and also the number of biopsies.

Clinical Evidences

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.


Increase 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


Reduce 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


The sensitivity and specificity of NBI was higher for polyps diagnosed with high confidence National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.Virtual chromoendoscopy to assess colorectal polyps during colonoscopy Diagnostics guidance [DG28], May 2017,


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: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 4;8(14):23880-23890