Andrea et al. were the first to use contact endoscopy in the diagnosis of laryngeal disease, in 1995. This method enables in vivo microscopy of laryngeal mucosa.
In the present study, comparison of contact endoscopy with frozen section histopathology was performed in 142 patients with various diseases of the larynx. Paraffin section histopathology diagnosed 70 benign lesions, 23 precancerous lesions and 49 malignant lesions. Frozen section histopathology showed a sensitivity of 89.8 per cent, a specificity of 98.9 per cent and an accuracy of 95.7 per cent (χ2 = 1.5; p = 0.18). Frozen histopathology diagnosed 45 malignant lesions, including one false positive and five false negative results. Contact endoscopy yielded a sensitivity of 79.59 per cent, a specificity of 100 per cent and an accuracy of 92.95 per cent (χ2 = 8.1; p = 0.002). All malignant lesions diagnosed by contact endoscopy were confirmed by histopathology; contact endoscopy failed to recognise malignant lesions in 10 patients.
Contact endoscopy is preferable to frozen section histopathology as it is noninvasive, provides information on microscopic diagnosis and laryngeal lesion margins, and enables visualisation of the laryngeal mucosa microvasculature. The use of contact endoscopy along with frozen section histopathology improves diagnostic accuracy and allows for operative (or other) therapy to continue according to the results obtained.