The utility of office-based biopsy for laryngopharyngeal lesions: Comparison with surgical evaluation

Amanda L. Richards, Manikandan Sugumaran, Jonathan E. Aviv, Peak Woo, Kenneth W. Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Advances in flexible endoscopy with working-channel biopsy forceps have led to excellent visualization of laryngopharyngeal lesions with capability for in-office awake biopsy. Potential benefits include prompt diagnosis without risk of general anesthesia, preoperative counseling, and avoiding an anesthetic should the lesion return benign. We evaluate the accuracy of these biopsies in order to determine their role and diagnostic value. Study Design Retrospective chart review. Methods Medical records were reviewed from January 1, 2010, through July 31, 2013, of patients who underwent office-based current procedural terminology code 31576 and were taken to the operating room for direct microlaryngoscopy with biopsy/excision. Clinical diagnoses and pathology reports were reviewed. For statistical analysis, we considered three groups: 1) malignant and premalignant, 2) lesions of uncertain significance, and 3) benign lesions. Results In the study period, 76 patients with an office biopsy had a clinical picture to warrant direct microlaryngoscopy and biopsy/excision. Kendall's coefficient for each group indicated moderate correlation only. When groups 1 and 2 were considered together, there was a substantial and statistically significant correlation. For malignant and premalignant lesions, the office biopsy analysis was as follows: sensitivity = 60%, specificity = 87%, positive predictive value = 78%, and negative predictive value = 74%. Conclusion Office biopsy may offer early direction and avoid operative intervention in some cases; however, for suspected dysplastic or malignant lesions, direct microlaryngoscopy should be the standard of care to ensure adequate full-thickness sampling and staging. For benign pathology, office biopsy is a safe and viable alternative to direct microlaryngoscopy and biopsy/excision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-912
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Office biopsy
  • dysplasia
  • lesion
  • leukoplakia
  • medical decision making
  • microlaryngoscopy


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