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Authors Stevens SM, Johnson EA, Pfau PR, Dailey SH
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Journal Surg Endosc Volume: 29 Issue: 5 Pages: 1209-15
Publish Date 2015 May
PubMed ID 25303903

The larynx and hypopharynx are common sites for head and neck cancer, which shares many risk factors with upper digestive tract disease. Patient survival with malignancies depends on stage at the time of diagnosis. Endoscopic screening of the hypopharynx is neither routinely performed in clinical practice nor has it been evaluated in a formal study.This is a prospective pilot study of patients undergoing routine EGD. Demographic data were collected from patients prior to the procedure. All patients in the study underwent an EGD and prior to performing the standard portion of the EGD procedure, the endoscopist evaluated the larynx and hypopharynx with both white light endoscopy (WLE) and narrow band imaging (NBI). Details of the procedure, including ability to see all anatomic structures, time spent, complications, and findings, were recorded.A total of 111 patients were included in the study. The exam of the laryngopharynx was completed in 87% of patients (97/111). Reasons for incomplete exam included intubated patients (2/14), inadequate sedation (9/14), and inability to see the entire hypopharynx (3/14). The mean time of the WLE was 20.2 s, while the NBI evaluation took 15.6 s for a mean and 35.8 s for the entire exam of the larynx and hypopharynx. Minor procedural complications occurred in 3/11 (2.7%) of the patients and included hypotension, tachycardia, and hypoxia. There were 6 patients who had hypopharyngeal abnormalities seen on both WLE and NBI (5.4%) and were subsequently referred to otolaryngology. Of the six referrals, one patient had a vocal cord biopsy showing leukoplakia, while the others were deemed normal anatomic variants.Evaluation of the hypopharynx can be accomplished by gastrointestinal endoscopists at the time of EGD in the vast majority of patients in a safe manner while adding only about 35 s to the overall exam time. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System