Narrow band imaging diagnosis of bladder cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis


  • C.Z. and Y.L. contributed equally to this work.

Qing Jiang, Department of Urologic Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, No. 76, Lin Jiang Road, Yu Zhong District, Chongqing 400016, China. e-mail:


Study Type – Diagnosis (systematic review)

Level of Evidence 1

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

In recent years, more attention has focused on the role of narrow band imaging (NBI) in bladder cancer detection and NBI technology has spread rapidly. It is an important method for diagnosing new or recurrent bladder cancer. But its diagnostic accuracy is still uncertain.

This paper summarizes the diagnostic accuracy of NBI in bladder cancer and compares NBI with white light imaging. The results show that NBI cystoscopy significantly improves the detection accuracy in bladder cancer, compared with white light imaging. However, some limitations still exist. Multicentre randomized studies are recommended to determine whether the visual advantages of NBI can translate into real therapeutic benefit for individual patients.


  • • To assess the test performance and clinical effectiveness of narrow band imaging (NBI) cystoscopy compared with white light imaging (WLI) cystoscopy in people suspected of new or recurrent bladder cancer.


  • • Literature on NBI cystoscopy in the diagnosis of bladder cancer was searched in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and CNKI, with hand searching of relevant congress abstracts and journals.
  • • The literature was selected according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The Meta-DiSc1.4 software was used to review management and analysis.


  • • Eight studies including 1022 patients assessed test performance.
  • • On a per-person analysis, the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio of NBI and WLI were respectively 0.943 (95% CI 0.914−0.964) and 0.848 (95% CI 0.803−0.885), 0.847 (95% CI 0.812−0.878) and 0.870 (95% CI 0.831−0.903), 7.038 (95% CI 3.357−14.754) and 6.938 (95% CI 2.052−23.465), 0.054 (95% CI 0.012−0.237) and 0.181 (95% CI 0.091−0.361), and 185.32 (95% CI 45.714−751.26) and 42.931 (95% CI 8.088−227.88).
  • • The area under the curve and Q* of NBI and WLI were respectively 0.9781 and 0.8944, and 0.9337 and 0.8253.
  • • For the characterization of carcinoma in situ, the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odds ratio of NBI were 0.927 (95% CI 0.878−0.960), 0.768 (95% CI 0.730−0.802), 4.545 (95% CI 2.820−7.325), 0.125 (95% CI 0.051−0.304) and 48.884 (95% CI 15.642−152.77) on a per-person analysis.
  • • The area under the curve and Q* were 0.9391 and 0.8763.


  • • NBI is an effective method for the identification of abnormal lesions including carcinoma in situ and can provide higher diagnostic precision of bladder cancer than WLI.