Narrow-band imaging features of oral lichenoid conditions: A multicentre retrospective study

Agostino Guida, Franco Ionna, Camile S. Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Narrow-band imaging (NBI), which highlights epithelial intrapapillary capillary loops (IPCLs) classified into five patterns (0 toIV) with increasing correlation to malignancy, has demonstrated effectiveness for detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Lack of standardised procedures limits its use for routine inspection of oral lichenoid lesions including oral lichen planus (OLP), oral lichenoid lesion (OLL) and oral lichenoid reaction (OLR). The aim of this study was to analyse IPCL patterns of such lesions, assessing correlations with histopathological outcomes. Materials and Methods: A multicentre, retrospective study was performed on 84 patients who underwent NBI and subsequent biopsy for suspected OLP/OLL/OLR. Patients were examined with Evis Exera III NBI system. Recorded NBI video endoscopies were evaluated to assess IPCL patterns and correlated with histopathological outcomes. Results: No significant differences were detected among OLP/OLL/OLR on NBI inspection. All lichenoid lesions were significantly related to low-grade (0-II) IPCL patterns, clearly distinguishable from OSCC, showing pattern IV (p < 0.05). Conclusions: NBI cannot discern among OLP/OLL/OLR lesions. Interpretation should be modulated when assessing lichenoid lesions. NBI has potential to discern malignant transformation occurring in lichenoid lesions undergoing long-term follow-up, as IPCL pattern IV may be used as a clinical marker of malignancy arising in chronic inflammatory lesions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • narrow-band imaging
  • oral lichen planus
  • oral lichenoid lesion
  • oral lichenoid reaction
  • oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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