Office-Based Laryngeal Biopsy in Patients Ineligible for General Anesthesia

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy and Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ospedale San Giuseppe IRCCS Multimedica, Milan, Italy.

2 IRCCS Santa Maria Nascente – Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Milan, Italy.

3 Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences L. Sacco University Hospital, Milan, Italy


Office-based laryngeal biopsy (OBLB) may provide a histological examination of laryngeal lesions in patients who cannot undergo a direct laryngoscopy. Nonetheless, only scarce information regarding its clinical applicability in these patients are available. The study’s aim is to report the feasibility of OBLB in patients ineligible for direct laryngoscopy.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 55 patients presenting with laryngeal lesions requiring biopsy but ineligible for direct laryngoscopy because at risk for general anesthesia were consecutively enrolled. OBLB was performed using a flexible endoscope with a 2 mm instrument channel under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The biopsied lesions were categorized according to their location, morphology, and histology (benign, premalignant, and malignant). In case of malignancy the patients started non-surgical treatment; otherwise, the patients were scheduled for a close follow-up.
OBLB was well tolerated and no complications occurred. Laryngeal lesions were more frequently located in the glottic region (28 out of 55 patients), while the most frequent morphology was ulcerative (35 out of 55 patients). The histological examination revealed 34 cases of malignancy, 9 cases of premalignancy, and 12 cases of benign lesions. In none of the patients without malignancy the laryngeal lesion showed significant changes during the follow-up period and a re-biopsy was not performed.
In patients ineligible for direct laryngoscopy under general anesthesia OBLB could be considered as a sound-alternative method to assess the histology of suspected laryngeal lesions.


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