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Keywords:

  • unknown primary neoplasm;
  • narrow-band imaging;
  • endoscopy;
  • head and neck cancer;
  • upper aerodigestive tract

Abstract

Background

We investigated whether the addition of narrow band imaging (NBI) to standard diagnostic workups could enhance the detection of primary lesions in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP).

Methods

Thirty patients with CUP underwent NBI endoscopy and fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography/CT (FDG-PET/CT) after thorough conventional diagnostic workups between 2009 and 2011. Sites suspected of harboring primary tumors, as determined by NBI and/or FDG-PET/CT, were biopsied for histologic confirmation.

Results

Occult primary tumors were identified in 33.3% (10/30), including 13.3% (4/30) by NBI and 20.0% (6/30) by FDG-PET/CT. All of diagnosed lesions by NBI were confirmed histologically as squamous cell carcinomas with T1 classification and identified at 2 supraglottis, 1 hypopharynx, and 1 esophagus, respectively.

Conclusions

NBI endoscopy may be a useful method for detecting primary tumors, especially for small and superficial squamous cell carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract, after conventional workup in patients with CUP. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013